How amazing it is to travel to China and be with the pandas. I am so grateful for this opportunity.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I signed on with Earthwatch to work with the pandas in China.
"Earthwatch inspires connections between people and the environment. Our mission
is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to
promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment" - Earthwatch.com
This is the first year for Earthwatch working with the giant pandas. "Since 1971, we have been enabling people from all walks of life to join leading scientists working on crucial, environmental research projects locally and globally. We currently support about 60 projects across nearly 40 countries."
Many of my fellow team members have participated in previous expeditions with EW working with the Black Rhinos or Lions in Africa, explored the oceans while testing new robotic equipment to study the fish that live in the kelp, that whales eat and a couple just came from the Tibetan mountains. All as part of Earthwatch.
Today is my first panda day in China. The weather is nice, high in the low 70's and going down to the high 50's at night. Chance of rain is always probable here, so they say.
We will start early, leave at 8 am for the Bifengxia Panda base, near the town of Ya'an where we are staying. We will begin with helping the keepers to clean up the panda enclosures and then have a practice session on how to record different panda behaviors with the use of codes all timed with a stopwatch over a 30 min time period. Once we get the hang of it we will, then move in teams of two and begin recording the behaviors we observe. This is part of the research that is ongoing here at the research base.
By recording this information from their captive pandas and then comparing it with the same method of collecting that we will be gathering from the pandas that are in the wild release program at Wolong, where we will go next week, they can begin to compare information that may help them to understand how wild pandas live.
Wild pandas are almost impossible to observe in the wild, considering the extremely steep- mountainous habitat and their elusive behavior.
I have to apologize if there are any errors, as I cannot access my site, except my work page, which I knew might be a possibility. But thanks to panda pal, techno wizard, Daniel, of Daniel's Live panda cams will assist me, by emailing me any problems that may appear. BTW, Daniel's page comes in perfectly here in China!
Until I return at the end of the day, you may see some strange goings on but please be patient. I am hoping to provide you with my panda adventure as I experience it, so that you may have a better understanding of what the scientists, engineers and workers do in China to help the giant panda.
Thanks for your understanding.
P.S. No pictures, videos yet, keep your fingers crossed that I can upload some tonight!