Category Archives: Wonders

Survival of the Snub-Nosed Monkeys

News and Travel Editor

If you’ve read my other blogs, you’ll know I’ve got a terrible weakness for all things cute and furry. If you’re the same, prepare to have your heart melted.

In this week’s video, we travel to Yunnan to spend some time with the snub-nosed monkeys of Shangri-La. In the White Horse Mountains, Dr Long Yongcheng has devoted his life to studying and protecting the endangered primates.

You may be thinking that you’ve never seen a monkey like this before, and you’d probably be right. There are just five species of snub-nosed monkey left, a fraction of the previously widespread population that’s been squeezed by climate change since the last ice age. Just three species remain in China. Of those, the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey is the most endangered, and sadly the population continues to decline.

They are white when they are born, but soon develop their distinctive shaggy black coat. Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys live at the highest altitude of any primate, except for humans. In snub-nosed society, one male monkey will form a family group with as many females as possible. Mum Monkeys outrank females without children, and males with the most mates gain the highest status. It’s easy to spot the males because of the long hairs on their rumps and their size (being up to twice as big as the females). Why the flat face? No one is really sure – one theory is that the monkeys evolved a flat muzzle evolved to combat frostbitten, exposed noses.

With the help of forest guardians, and a hunting ban in place since the 1970s, monkey numbers in Dr Long Yongcheng’s corner of the forest have almost doubled. Now, the biggest threat to Yunnan’s snub-nosed monkeys is the survival of the forest itself.

china-icons-monkey-cut-6-00_06_12_24-still015

Find out more about primatologists Dr Long Yongcheng and Dr Paul Garber here

 

Happy Birthday Panda Triplets!

News and Travel Editor

I am so excited about this week’s new video because I think it might be my favourite one yet. It feels extra special to me because we get to celebrate the birthday of not one, not two but THREE incredibly cute pandas. The Triplets of Chimelong are the oldest (and only!) surviving triplets EVER!

Why is this a big deal? Firstly, there are only 1800 Pandas left in the world. Secondly, in the wild, a mother can only raise one cub, meaning that in the wild only 2/3 cubs would have survived to adulthood! Thanks to the researchers at Chimelong, the three Pandas are now celebrating their second birthday. It’s great to watch them grow up over the space of this video from being pale, pink and the size of an orange to the recognizable Panda we know and love.

I loved learning more about the Pandas’ personalities as they grow up! Meng Meng, the oldest and only female, is the quiet one, and the chubbiest as she is the least active! Next comes Shuai Shuai who’s a lot more mischievous and loves to wrestle with his siblings. Ku Ku is more chilled, but him and Shuai Shuai keep each other trim through lots of play fighting!

I spend quite a lot of time using my job as an excuse to look at Panda photos (evidence: my favourite past blog) but I was really surprised to come across facts that I hadn’t discovered before. My favourite being that the Mama Pandas carries the newborn cubs in her mouth to keep them safe and warm.

It is so lovely seeing the Pandas’ affection for each other and for the researchers who work so hard to help the species survive in the future. I wish there was a Panda who wanted to follow me every time I try to leave work!

panda eating

<img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”display:none” src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=153003798460560&ev=PageView&noscript=1″ /><//ViewContent><br />
<!– End Facebook Pixel Code –></p>

Soaring over China through Timelapse

News and Travel Editor

What stands out to me the most when I watch this timelapse is the diversity of colours. The vibrant reds and oranges of sunset of Hainan Island, the greenery of Kham and Zhejiang and the bright lights of bustling Beijing at night. This timelapse is a great way to get a taste of the vastness and diversity of China. As Travel Editor, I’m continually excited and amazed by the possibilities in China. So, I thought I’d dig a little deeper into each of the featured locations to help you plan your dream trip. Where would you go first?

 

Fast Fact Files

Hainan Island

hainan

‘Hainan’ literally means ‘South of the Ocean’.

This tropical paradise is the place to go for golden sands, balmy weather and coconut trees on the coast, and luscious mountains inland. There’s even a growing surf scene to get involved in.

The population of Hainan is just over 8 million.

Zhejiang

Zhejiang

Eastern Coastal Province of China

Hangzhou is the capital, home of the famous West Lake which has inspired Chinese Artists and Poets throughout history.

Home to the arched bridges and canals scenes of Wūzhèn

Thousands of Islands are dotted across the shoreline to be explored, the most well known being the lush Buddhist Island of Putuoshan.

Beijing

beijing

‘Bei’ means Northern, and ‘Jing’ means Capital, so Beijing literally translates to Northern Capital! It sounds obvious, but is actually the 16th name given to the city in its history.  It’s the nation’s second largest city, after Shanghai.

The Forbidden City in Beijing is the world’s largest preservation of wooden structures from the Ancient World!

It’s also home to some very unusual cafes, where you can cuddle a cat with your coffee.

Yangtze River

Yangtze

It’s the third longest river in the world, but the longest river within a single country.

The river passes Fengdu Ghost City, “the home of the devil”, a town of tombs and temples.

The river flows 3,915 miles from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the mouth of the East China Sea.

Where would you go first in China? Let us know in the comments!

The Most Famous Pandas in the World

News and Travel Editor

It’s nearly time to celebrate everyone’s favourite Panda triplets reaching their second birthday! The famous trio, Meng Meng, Shuai Shuai and Ku Ku, are the oldest surviving Giant Panda triplets in history! The adorable siblings were born in Chimelong Safari Park in Beijing to Mum Ju Xiao on July 29th 2014. To build up to the big day (will it top last year’s?), here’s 7 facts that will make you love the black and white bears even more!

7 Facts that will make you love Giant Pandas even more

1. Giant Panda in Mandarin (大熊猫Dà xióngmāo) literally translates to ‘Big Bear Cat’

2. Giant Pandas spend on average two-thirds of their day feeding and the remainder resting. Sounds like a great weekend to me!

panda cubs

3. Pandas don’t use a specific resting place to sleep, but simply lie down on the ground wherever they happen to be.

4. When first born, Panda cubs are about the length of a pencil and the weight of an orange! These tiny cubs are only 1/900th the size of their mother.

Panda

5. Cubs don’t open their eyes until they are at least six weeks old.

6. Unlike most other bears, Pandas do not hibernate. This means we get to love them ALL YEAR ROUND!

7. Giant Pandas have distinct personalities. Of the triplets, Meng Meng, the eldest, is the quiet one. Shuai Shuai is VERY cheeky. The youngest panda, Ku Ku, is very chilled, but makes it very clear when he’s not enjoying something.

Has it worked, do you love them EVEN MORE or are you such a fan that you already knew all these facts? Have you got any more great ones to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Keep your eyes peeled for some exclusive footage of the cuddly cuties coming soon from China Icons! Subscribe HERE

hungry panda