The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries
The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries are located in China's southeast province of Sichuan in the Qionglai and Jiajin Mountains. The sanctuaries are protected areas that are home to more than 30% of the world's Giant Pandas.
It is also the species' most important site for captive breeding- the current estimate is only 2060 pandas in the wild!
The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries cover 924,500 hectares and encompass seven nature reserves and nine scenic parks. It was 2006 when the Sichuan Sanctuaries were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Seven Nature Reserves include:
- Wolong Nature Reserve
- The Fengtongzhai Nature Reserve
- The Mt. Siguniang Nature Reserve
- The Laba River Nature Reserve
- The Heishui River Nature Reserve
- The Jintang-Kongyu Nature Reserve
- The Caopo Nature Reserve
The Nine Scenic Parks include:
- Mt. Qingcheng-Dujiangyan Scenic Park
- The Mt. Tiantai Scenic Park
- The Mt. Siguniang Scenic Park
- The Xiling Snow Mountain Scenic Park
- Mt. Jiguan-Jiulonggou Scenic Park
- Mt. Jiajin Scenic Park, Miyaluo Scenic Park
- The Mt. Lingzhen-Mt. Daxue Scenic Park
- Mt. Erlang Scenic Park.
You'll get to see more than just pandas!
The sanctuaries aren't just home to the adorable Giant Pandas but provide refuge to many other endangered species such as the snow leopard, clouded leopard, and red panda. These are only a few- there are 109 mammal species and 395 bird species that have been recorded.
Apart from being a home to endangered animals, the Sichuan Sanctuaries are also one of the world's richest botanical sites outside tropical rainforests. The property has recorded around 5000 - 6000 species of flora. Boasting a wide variety of species such as magnolias, bamboos, and the dove tree.
When should you go?
The best time to take a trip to Sichuan Panda Sanctuaries would be during the Spring. In the Sichuan lowlands and south area, the Spring season is usually dry.
The spring season starts in March and ends early in May. Temperatures during the spring months range from 10 to 22 °C (50 to 71 °F), making it the best time to go out and visit the scenic parks and nature reserves.
Pandas are some of the cutest animals (if not the cutest) on this planet! If you've never seen a panda up close and you're planning a trip, I promise you won't regret including a trip to the Sichuan Panda Sanctuaries. Sichuan has some of the prettiest scenery in China, and the Pandas make visiting all the more worth it!