a relentless quest to preserve wildlife – English

It is the adventure of an avid nature lover. In 2018, Li Cheng, a wildlife enthusiast and computer engineer, turned into an advocate and protector of the ecosystem. In order to protect wildlife, he set up the Xizijiang Conservation and Breeding Center in Guangdong Province (southern China) the same year.

During a study of local animal resources around the city of Huizhou, Li Cheng and his team discovered the existence of natural forest and a large number of rare species preserved in the Wuqinzhang mountain range, located in eastern Guangdong. “This area looks like a ‘time capsule’ that preserves the region’s ecological landscape from 100 years ago,” Li Cheng said in an interview with CGTN Français, saying he was simultaneously shocked by the criminal acts of poaching. ‘We saw traps aimed at catching wild animals. Squeezed paws, animals suffer a lot but still struggle to survive, the scene touched us so much. It was this occasion that made me decide to go from research and surveillance work to wildlife conservation in hopes of conserving valuable species for our future generations, ”he said.

Li Cheng and his team have realized their calling in two steps: Communicating with government departments on poaching of wildlife and launching protection projects in collaboration with charitable foundations to raise public awareness of the importance of biological conservation. After three years, their efforts have paid off. “By working closely with the government, we are dedicated to educating people about the harms of eating wildlife and the serious consequences of poaching.” According to Li Cheng, the locals have experienced a strong metamorphosis in their consciousness, they now know that the pangolin is a nationally protected animal and feel very proud that their home is home to this precious animal. “In the past, they sold the animals to make money, whereas today they call our team or the Forest Office as soon as a pangolin shows up. In Wuqinzhang, poaching of wild animals is almost over, ”said Li Cheng with great pride.

In April 2022, Li Cheng and teams from Peking University successfully measured the height of a Pinus bhutanica tree in the Medog district of southeastern Tibet. 76.8 meters! This tree measured by Li Cheng and his partners using Lidar scanning was the tallest tree on the Chinese mainland; a few days later, this record was broken by 83.2 meters, a tree located in the district of Zayü, about 300 km from Mêdog, measured by a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences using the rope hung in a drone.

To this, Li Cheng explained to CGTN Français that the existence of the giant trees is a sign indicating the good condition of the local ecosystem, “it is only in the primeval forests with the least human disturbance that the trees can reach their growth peak ., because in these places there are the most favorable conditions for the growth of the trees. ”In addition, he believed that the search for the tallest tree aims to increase awareness of the conservation of natural forests, a fact that is still not recognized by the Chinese public.

Previous studies and studies conducted by Li Cheng and his partners point to the existence of giant trees, whose height rises to more than 70 meters in the southeastern region of Tibet, especially in the Canyon of the Yarlung Zangbo River. The special geographical conditions give rise to these giant trees: huge mountain ranges such as the Himalayas and Nyenchen Tanglha block the cold air coming from the north, the flow of hot and humid air from the Indian Ocean continuously leads the monsoon to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau about winter through the Yarlung Zangbo area, heavy rainfall occurs during this process, which is beneficial for plant growth. “Less affected by high winds or cold waves, abundant rain and humidity, all of these conditions are conducive to the appearance of giant trees in Yarlung Zangbo Canyon,” Li Cheng said. . It is for this reason that he is fully convinced that even taller trees will be discovered in the future in this region.

Li Cheng is also one of the supporters of the establishment of Yarlung Zangbo National Park. His scientific research and monitoring show that the vertical climate of this region nourishes enormous plants and animals, “the biodiversity of the Yarlung Zangbo Canyon Basin makes the region the area with the most complete band in the vertical distribution of species. It is an ideal place to “show the world with these primitive and complete characteristics of China’s ecosystem. The region also plays a key role in research into the effects of global warming on the ecosystem,” he said.

Harsh working conditions in the field, lack of stable financial resources, Li Cheng and his organization face all these difficulties, but the passion for nature and the surprise that nature presents to man, always allows him to continue to preserve biodiversity. “Based on previous research into the factors that threaten the existence of the pangolin, we will strengthen efforts in the construction of the ecological corridor and the rehabilitation of the habitat of this animal; in addition, we will continue the work focusing on the protection, study and monitoring of rare and endangered species in Yarlung Zangbo Canyon, ”concluded Li Cheng, always with great conviction.

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