The Conservation Agency began field work in The People's Republic of
China in 1980, teaming up with the Guangdong Institute of Entomology
and South China's premier ornithologist, Dr. Liao Wei-Ping. We have
sponsored his work and travel in the United States, Canada, and the
West Indies, as well as in his own country. Our work in China has
taken us into the Sichuan Himalayas, Yunnan's Xishuangbanna, Hainan
Island, and even to the Great Wall. We are supporting the work of
Chinese students in U.S. Universities.
ongoing research has continued to draw us to the islands of the
South China Sea. Here we have discovered many new populations,
several new species of land vertebrates, and have documented life
histories of threatened species such as Romer's frog, white-headed
blindsnake, and the Chinese pangolin (a scaly ant-eating mammal).
We have concentrated efforts on islands in the South China Sea
including the geologically ancient island of Nan Ao, in far eastern
Guangdong Province, China. On Nan Ao we discovered many
populations of species previously known only from inland, upland,
and central China. Often these isolated Nan Ao populations are
replaced by more tropical relatives on the adjacent mainland.
This pattern, dubbed "Austro-boreal disjunction", is strikingly like
that observed in species or subspecies found in the Florida Keys and
then again in northern Florida or Georgia. Austro-boreal
disjunction has become a topic of great interest in biogeography.
| We have forged strong ties with Universitas Sam Ratulangi
in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and Silliman University in the Philippines. Our
expeditions to the Far Moluccas and Typhoon Islands in these countries
have resulted in the discovery of three new species of flying dragons
(Draco lizards) and we gave gathered a great deal of information about
rare and little-known species, such as the anoa (a tiny forest ox),
Jelesma's gecko, and the Sulawesi black racer.
This species, called "HWA", is
a tiny aphid-like bug that parasitizes hemlock trees.
It is native to Asia and was
accidentally introduced to the vicinity of Richmond,
It has spread north and south
and is a major killer of our hemlocks.
Hemlock forests are a critical
habitat for many eastern American species:
The conservation implications
of HWA pestilence are dire.
2005, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, a team of
volunteers from TCA, led by senior research scientist Dr.
Wenhua Lu, began the search for HWA predators in
There, the HWA occurs but seems
Many of the most voracious HWA
predators are beetles.
Our search led us
to the mountains of
and on into the high Himalayas of Yunnan,
In pursuit of biocontrol
species for HWA we dodged floods and landslides and
encountered wildlife from takin (a sort of ox-like
"goat-antelope") to giant pandas.
We also got more than a dozen
excellent candidate species of HWA predators.
We hope some will soon solve