In Conservation With… interview

In Conservation With… Q&A

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Terry Townshend

Birding in Beijing, China

Terry is a Beijing-based wildlife conservation expert with a background in environmental law. He is passionate about engaging the public and lectures widely at schools and public events in China. He has set up projects to track two of Beijing’s most iconic birds – the Beijing Swift and the Beijing Cuckoo. Both of which have been found to migrate to southern Africa, earning them mainstream media coverage including the front page of the New York Times.

He is a Fellow of the Paulson Institute, advising on their conservation programme focusing on coastal wetland conservation, national park development in China. Terry is also developing recommendations for financing biodiversity in the build up to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity that is due to take place in China in 2021.

Since 2016, Terry has worked with ShanShui Conservation Center at Peking University to set up China’s first community based wildlife watching tourism project with a community of yak herders on the Tibetan Plateau – “The Valley of the Cats” – focusing on Snow Leopards and other apex predators. 100% of the tourism revenue stays within the community and, at the end of 2019, the project passed the milestone of 1 million Chinese Yuan.

Terry also advises the Beijing Municipal Government on how to make the city better for wildlife. He has worked with the BBC Natural History Unit and ITV’s Ray Mears, serves on the Global Advisory Group of BirdLife International and runs the Birding Beijing website.

Despite popular belief there is wildlife in Beijing!