CRI reporter Jutta Valkeinen interviewed Ms. Narelle King-an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development working at Changqing Nature Reserve in central China's Shaanxi province.
Eco-tourism in Changqing
Host: Hello. This is Jutta talking from the CRI studio. Could you begin with saying your name and your title?
Guest: OK. Yeah. I'm Narelle King. And I'm in Australian Youth Embassador for Development. I'm working on an eco-tourism project in Changqing Nature Reserve.
H: Could you tell us a bit more about this eco-tourism project? What exactly do you do there?
G: Well, at the moment Chongqing nature reserve gets very small numbers of tourists coming here, so what we are trying to do is to attract more tourists, particularly western tourists, to come here, basically with aim of providing more funding for the reserve to do their management and also bringing some more money into the local community as well.
H: So what is the attraction in the area for western people, do you think?
G: Yeah. We have giant panda in the reserve, and we also have golden takin and golden monkeys, two very endangered species, and about 31 other endangered wild life as well as lots of endangered plants. The other attraction to the area is that we are living in a small local hotel in a small Chinese village. So people can come and experience life in a traditional Chinese village where people still hand harvest rice and do everything in real traditional methods.
H: Oh, that sounds really relaxing, judging from Beijing. How many pandas are there at the reservation?
G: There's about just over a hundred pandas in our reserve.
154 species of birds belonging to 98 genera live in the reserve.
17 of these species are endangered.
The Chance to See Pandas
H: So, when tourists come, can they actually see them there or they're like hiding somewhere?
G: Yeah, we are actually really lucky in that our reserve is one of the best places for viewing pandas. We obviously can't guarantee that everyone will see pandas because they're wild so we don't know if it'll show about. Most people who come here are able to see pandas.
The Bamboo Issue
H: I just recently read somewhere that the bamboos are blooming, so the pandas didn't have a lot to eat. Have you heard about this? Or is this just a rumor I read in Finnish paper?