Children and the Natural World

We all know that the safeguarding of our wildlife and environment is vitally important. Unfortunately, for children that grow up in big metropolitan cities, some of the only opportunities they have to see wildlife are in a zoo or on TV. We strongly believe, however, that something must be experienced for it to be truly understood. There is no better way to do this than through travel. So, our WildChina Education team put their heads together to come up with tours that are sure to not only arouse curiosity and excitement about the natural world but also teach students about the importance of environmental protection and conservation.

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Students camping in the great outdoors 

Why is it important to teach children about the natural world?

Simply put, because it is their planet! This beautiful place we call home is an interconnected ecosystem. Everything we do has an impact on the lives and futures of a kaleidoscope of creatures and the environments they thrive in. If we aren’t careful, our actions could have disastrous results. We believe in empowering the students that travel with us to make a positive social impact. So, by learning to live sustainably and caring for the natural ecosystem that we are all a part of, individuals will be able to preserve the future of our planet for many generations to come. 

Wildlife in China

While most people know China for its iconic Giant Pandas, the Middle Kingdom’s vast and diverse landscape is home to a great variety and abundance of wildlife. In fact, China has the third largest number of mammals in the world including the majestic Clouded Leopard, regal Tibetan Macaque, and the Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey.

Unfortunately, however, China’s rapid development and urbanization has threatened the country’s biodiversity. This has led to some animals, such as the Giant Panda, landing an undesirable spot on the vulnerable or endangered species list. Plus, illegal wildlife trade and animal poaching only adds to this terrible situation.

Luckily, our youth can make a difference in the future and fate of these beautiful creatures. We simply need to give them the tools and knowledge to do so. That’s where we come in!

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Learning through experiental travel

Learning Through Experiential Travel

All of us on the WildChina Education team know that the best way to learn is by experiencing something firsthand. Truly, there is no better way for students to learn about wildlife conservation than for them to discover China’s array of amazing species face-to-face. So, we have been hard at work crafting a range of new itineraries that immerse participants in some incredible wildlife habitats and are filled to the brim with exciting hands-on activities, while also ensuring responsible and sustainable travel. 

1. Panda Conservation Project[1]

Of course, we would be remiss to develop a wildlife conservation tour in China that didn’t include the iconic, adorable Giant Panda. There has been an impressive (and successful!) effort to protect the population and, after much hard work, China’s unofficial ambassadors have been moved from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ status.

On our panda conservation tour, students will travel to Sichuan to see for themselves the hard work that is being done to protect these cuddly creatures. While exploring one of China’s richest biosphere reserves and panda habitats, students will get their hands dirty while volunteering at a panda base and embarking on field research with a panda expert. Finally, participants will be challenged to think critically during workshops discussing panda rehabilitation, the impacts of a growing human population, and the delicate balancing act between environmental protection and the socioeconomic needs of locals.

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Settling down for a tasty treat

2. Yunnan’s Rare Monkeys [2]

One of China’s lesser known (but no less adorable) vulnerable species is the Snub-Nosed Monkeys. For this wildlife encounter, students will hike into the depths of the monkeys’ habitat and observe the primates in their natural environment. With a forest ranger as their guide, individuals will track monkeys at the Tacheng Nature Reserve in Weixi County before engaging in an in-depth discussion with peers about their observations and wildlife conservation.


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Snub-nosed monkey in Yunnan (Photo by Lydia Lan)

Animal Welfare Policy

Here at WildChina, we are committed to responsible travel and truly believe that it is up to us to address animal welfare issues, in both the wild and captivity, wherever we travel. As such, our animal welfare policy ensures that each of our trips considers the five freedoms of animal welfare: good feeding, good housing, good health, appropriate behavior, and protection from fear and distress. So, you can rest assured that the animals you or your children encounter on one of our trips are living happy, healthy lives.

Get in touch to craft your wildlife adventure itinerary today!

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References

  1. ^ 1. Panda Conservation Project (www.wildchina.com)
  2. ^ 2. Yunnan’s Rare Monkeys  (www.wildchina.com)

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