The symbol of the conservation of species, the giant panda, is endangered. There are no more than 1,600 individuals remaining in the wild. These individuals are threatened primarily by the degradation of the bamboo forests. Furthermore, the giant pandas reproductive system is very complex because the period in which the females are fertile is very short. In fact, females are fertile for less than 3 days a year!
The giant panda is therefore protected by various Chinese associations and its conservation is supported by Chinese reproduction centres and the zoos around the world that house them.
In order to increase their protection, the bases at Wolong (1980) and Chengdu (1987) were created. These bases invest in research, raising awareness, and the preservation both in-situ and ex-situ of Chinese endangered species such as the giant panda. Chengdu is one of the most important centers for the study, and preservation of giant pandas. Several protection and research programs are in progress, including increasing reproduction rates of pandas by artificial insemination in zoos and attempts to reintroduce giant pandas into their natural environment.
Zoos housing giant pandas also contribute economically to the preservation of the species in China. These zoos also invest a lot into panda reproduction, participate in the development of research programs, and work towards the preservation of their natural environment.
The two young giant pandas (that could potentially breed) that are coming to the ZooParc de Beauval do so as part of a program of conservation, scientific research, and education about conservation, carried out in cooperation with the Chengdu Panda Base, in China, and the ABC&R (Beauval Research and Conservation Association).