Every year on May 15, Endangered Species Day recognizes animals throughout the world that are at risk of becoming extinct. To ensure these special animals can continue to live on this planet, Shangri-La hotels and resorts around the world are dedicated to helping endangered and at-risk local wildlife.
Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu dedicates its Care for Panda project to protect China’s giant pandas. In December 2012, the hotel established a bamboo plantation for the Dujiangyan Panda Saving and Disease Control Center, an institution that is devoted to the continued existence giant pandas. Since the partnership, almost 16,000 bamboo seedlings have been planted in the 1.6-hectare plantation. The plantation is now an integral part of a much-needed base for rescued, ill or elderly wild giant pandas.
Hotels in Xian are also working to protect China’s giant panda as well as other endangered animals. The Care for Nature project at Shangri-La Hotel, Xian and Golden Flower Hotel, Xian supports the preservation of endangered pandas’ and endangered golden monkeys’ habitats. To prevent destruction of the animals’ food supply, the hotels encourage the local community to plant their own trees and shrubs used for traditional Chinese medicines rather than collecting them in the wild. The hotels also provide Chinese medical seeds to communities so villagers can generate income from planting Chinese medicine in their backyards. Furthermore, the hotels upgraded patrolling facilities on a nature reserve home to giant pandas and golden monkeys. These upgrades allow rangers to better watch over the endangered animals in the nature reserve.
Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa dedicates its Sanctuary project to help save endangered flying foxes, a species of bat that makes a home on Boracay. Since 2009, the resort has planted fruit trees to increase the flying foxes’ food supply. The resort also hosts educational programs so guests can learn more about the species and its importance for ecosystem growth. Guests can also join in the hotel’s yearly bat count, which tracks the bat population growth.
At Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Sultanate of Oman, the Turtle Care Project aims to protect the endangered hawksbill and green turtles native to the beaches of Oman. A dedicated Turtle Ranger ensures the nests are sheltered from any threats and ensures safe return to the sea during hatching season. The Turtle Ranger also raises awareness among guests and local communities on the plight of turtles through educational activities.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang and Golden Sands Resort, Penang also help to aid endangered turtles. The Turtle Care project at these resorts aims to create turtle conservation awareness and increase the survival rate of turtle hatchlings. Resort visitors can learn about the conservation of turtle species and environmental protection in the Eco Centre through story-telling sessions, craft-making sessions using discarded hotel recyclables and outdoor games simulating turtle life cycles.
Some Shangri-La properties are also helping prevent the process of extinction for surrounding wildlife. Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu began a dugong protection program in 2010. The resort purchases sustainably-harvested fish from Kg Berunggus to preserve the dugong’s habitat. Kg Berunggus uses sustainable hook-and-line fishing to help preserve grass beds, which are the dugong’s food source.
One of Shangri-La’s newest hotels, Shangri-La Hotel, Nanjing, plans to partner with a local organization to help save an endangered species of butterfly that can only be found in Nanjing. Stay tuned on our CSR blog to find out more.