A Reunion of Old Friends: In Conversation with Yunnan Golden Monkey Experts [in Mandarin] (Event #41)
26 years ago, 6 young people (including WildChina Founder Mei Zhang) met unexpectedly in a scientific research camp at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters in Yunnan’s Baima Snow Mountains. It was a shared passion for protecting the region’s golden snub-nosed monkeys that brought them all to that spot nearly three decades ago and each of these friends went on to play an important role in the conservation and protection of this animal.
These friends came together for a virtual reunion, where they discuss their journey together in 1994, the work and successes that followed, and the challenges that face Yunnan’s snub-nosed monkey population today.
Dr. Craig Kirkpatrick
Dr. Craig Kirkpatrick has had an extensive career in wildlife conservation, which includes work with The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and now the U.S. Agency for International Development. He spent 10 years in the Himalayas of Southwestern China studying the feeding ecology of snub-nosed monkeys, and is a leading voice in biodiversity conservation and combating wildlife crime. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California and a post-doctorate with the National Science Foundation. He is currently based in Bangkok.
Yongcheng has devoted his life and career to finding, researching, and protecting one of China’s most unique wild animals, the Yunnan Golden Monkey. In this pursuit, he has traversed more than 10,000 square kilometers of snow-capped plateaus and virgin forests in the Three Parallel Rivers area and helped to draw the distribution map of Yunnan’s Golden Monkey populations. His past also includes a position as an associate professor at the Kunming Institute of Zoology.
Zhinong is a wildlife photographer and the founder of Wild China Film. In 1995 his photograph “Mother and Child”, featured in Time Magazine, BBC Wildlife and National Geographic, first introduced the Yunnan golden snub-nosed monkey to the world. In 2002 his documentary “Mystery of the Snub-nosed Monkey”, which he spent ten years filming, was nominated for a Global Sustainability Award at the Wildscreen Festival.
In 1983 when the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve was first established, Zhong Tai was among the first individuals officially in charge of protecting the Yunnan Golden Monkey. His work involved harnessing resources from the government, experts and individuals, to gradually form an entire system of nature reserves. Zhong Tai is a nationally recognized nature reserve expert, with wide scientific knowledge of species and ecological protection.
- Mei ZhangFounder and CEO of WildChina
Mei Zhang is the founder and CEO of WildChina. Under her leadership, WildChina flourished from a small Hutong operation into an award-winning business. Mei’s own expertise has led her to win a number of personal awards, including Travel and Leisure’s A-List of Top Travel Advisors, Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialist, and Wendy Perrin’s #WOW List of Travel Experts. Mei is an Aspen Institute China Fellow and currently serves as a member of Harvard Business School’s Alumni Board.