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September 1, 2012

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Join the search for Chinese alligators

IF you are an animal lover, good at rowing and not afraid of the dark, you could be just the person to volunteer for night research on the critically endangered Chinese alligators at the Dongtan Wetland Park on Shanghai's Chongming Island.

The park is now recruiting volunteers to help look for traces of the Chinese alligators that have been breeding in the wild in the park since 2007.

Locals who can swim, row and take good photos stand a good chance of being selected. The volunteers are also expected to be observant and able to assist professional researchers during the night, the recruitment notice said.

The fieldwork will be carried out twice on September 7 and September 15 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. But the volunteers will have to arrive at the park on Dongwang Road at 1:30pm for a three-hour training.

Shen Jiajun, manager of the park's marketing department, said the mission's aim is to get more data on Chinese alligators. "The job is simple. Using a flashlight to look for Chinese alligators and that's it,"Shen said.

Foreigners can also choose to be volunteers by sending their resume and contact details to or call the park at 021-39367023 directly.

In 2007, six Chinese alligators, including two males, were released in the wetland park.

In 2008, researchers fourd 16 young alligators were born but some went missing as the tracking radar ran out of battery. The exact number of the alligators alive is unknown.


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