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Giant Pandas and Little Penguins combine for conservation

Giant Pandas and Little Penguins combine for conservation
October 8, 2015

The Victorian Government has signed a landmark 'sister park' agreement between Phillip Island Nature Parks and Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Centre.

Touring the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in the Chinese city of Chengdu last week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews witnessed the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the two conservation centres.

The new relationship between the Phillip Island and Chengdu Parks will enable valuable opportunities for both organisations to share their knowledge and research, as well as staff exchange and development.

Commenting on the partnership, Premier Andrews stated “this is an incredible opportunity for two of the world’s dedicated conservation warriors to come together to share research, experience and facilities for creatures great and small.

“This relationship won’t only facilitate new opportunities for Phillip Island researchers, but it’ll provide another means of promotion to another of Victoria’s world-class nature attractions.”

The Nature Park and Panda Breeding Centre are recognised leaders in conservation and eco-tourism, and their common goals and values provide the perfect foundation for transnational collaboration. Both organisations are committed to conservation management, world-leading research, and education, to ensure the ongoing survival of a number of species.

Phillip Island Nature Parks hosts more than 1.2 million visitors each year and is one of Australia's leading nature-based ecotourism operators. The Penguin Parade attracts more than 150,000 visitors from China annually, and is the number one attraction in Victoria for Chinese tourists.

The Panda Breeding Centre has a strong history of international cooperation, previously working with zoos and universities in Japan, Spain, France and the US. These relationships have helped to further giant panda breeding, protection, research and education; resulting in 15 giant pandas successfully born in captivity at the centre.

Phillip Island Nature Parks has a similarly successful history of species conservation. Its efforts to protect and enhance the little penguin colony at Phillip Island has seen the population grow from 12,000 breeding birds in 1984 to more than 30,000 in 2015.

The new agreement builds on a cooperative arrangement made between Victoria and Sichuan Province earlier this year, designed to foster collaboration and friendship.

In Chengdu, Premier Andrews was joined by Phillip Island Nature Parks Chief Executive Matthew Jackson who announced that, in partnership with WWF-Australia, a world-first interactive Antarctic experience that will open at Phillip Island in December.

Visitors to the 'Antarctic Journey' at the Nobbies Centre will find themselves completely immersed in a breath-taking and captivating multimedia experience that will put them right at the heart of all the action. 

Images: Pandas at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Centre (top) and Little Penguins at the Phillip Island Nature Parks (below).

7th October 2015 - OCEAN PARK LOOKING FORWARD TO GIANT PANDA BIRTH

24th August 2015 - ADELAIDE ZOO CELEBRATES GIANT PANDA FU NI’S NINTH BIRTHDAY

28th April 2014 - PHILLIP ISLAND NATURE PARKS WELCOMES NEW AMBASSADOR FOR PENGUINS

23rd March 2014 - MAJOR TOURISM EXPANSION ANNOUNCED FOR VICTORIA’S PHILLIP ISLAND

23rd July 2010 - CHINA LAUNCHES GLOBAL SEARCH FOR PANDA KEEPERS


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