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Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 19:30

On the Frontlines of Mammal Conservation in China: Tales from the Wild

Matthew Durnin, Ph.D.

Regional Science Director,


The Nature Conservancy

 United Nations


Lianheguo Zhongxin 

Sanlitun  2 Liangmahe Nanlu

China has some of the highest plant and animal biodiversity on the planet and one of the most charismatic mammals of all, the giant panda, is found only in China. Yet with all that is known of its plant and animal life, there are still areas that have not been explored and questions on the ecology of the giant panda still unanswered. Matthew Durnin, Ph.D. has been researching pandas and mammal diversity in some of the remotest regions of China for over 16 years. In this talk, he will share some of his adventures and misadventures and provide his thoughts on the status of wildlife and what the future holds for their conservation in China.

Dr. Durnin is responsible for science in The Nature Conservancy's Asia Pacific and North America conservation regions. He provides conservation and scientific leadership and support for regional conservation initiatives, conservation action planning and measures of conservation success. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Durnin was a MacArthur Foundation post-doctoral fellow at the California Academy of Sciences and lead mammalogist on a project cataloging the biodiversity of the Gaoligongshan area in western Yunnan province. He holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of California, Berkeley, and has authored publications on topics ranging from genetics to animal behavior.