Beginning Jan. 18, 2022, the Zoo is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last admittance 2:30 p.m.). Select animal buildings remain closed. Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. All visitors ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces at the Zoo, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to wear a mask in outdoor areas.

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Giant Panda Conservation

  • Giant pandas

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Conservation Ecology Center (CEC) is instrumental in developing science-based conservation programs for giant pandas and their habitats. Led by Melissa Songer, Qiongyu Huang and Bill McShea, the program focuses on studies of giant pandas in the wild, including evaluating giant panda landscapes to delineate corridors for connecting reserves; the ecology of giant pandas and wildlife species that share their habitat; and modeling the impacts of climate change and restoring habitat.

CEC researchers train staff at giant panda reserves to use GIS mapping for reserve management and to conduct research on the mammal communities living in these reserves. Working with Peking and Tsinghua Universities, CEC scientists also mentor Chinese graduate students studying giant pandas and their habitat.