Giant pandas, one of China's national treasures, are endangered but loved throughout the world. Living in the bamboo forests at an altitude of 2,000-4,000 meters in the country's western provinces including Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu, they subsist on a diet of bamboo and tree bark.
In the past 14 years, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda has sent 16 pandas to zoos around the world. Their adorable appearance attracted a great number of visitors.
According to the third national giant panda survey published in 2003, there are 1,596 adult pandas in China, among which, 1,206 pandas live in Sichuan Province.
To protect the animals, several breeding bases and more than a dozen nature reserves for pandas have been built. The following are the top 10 reserves and breeding bases in China.
Longxi-Hongkou National Nature Reserve（龙溪－虹口国家级自然保护区）
Longxi-Hongkou National Nature Reserve
Built in 1993, the Longxi-Hongkou National Nature Reserve is located in Longchi Town, 25 kilometers northwest of Dujiangyan city, Sichuan Province, covering an area of 34,000 hectares. It is on the west bank of upper reaches of Minjiang River, which belongs to the water source protection zone at upper reaches of Minjiang River.
The reserve is one of the most important panda habitats. About 10 to 20 wild pandas live in the subtropical mountain forest at 1,400-3,400 meters in altitude, enjoying the habitat's abundant food supply. The pandas share the reserve's natural resources with other precious wild animals such as golden monkeys and leopards.