SZ’s biodiversity via Colombian biologist’s lens
Shenzhen Daily has joined hands with the Information Office of Shenzhen Municipal People's Government to launch a series of reports titled “Decade of Transformation,” to tell the story of Shenzhen in the eyes of expats. Rafael Saavedra, a popular YouTuber who has been living and working in China for seven years, will host the series, showing you Shenzhen, a dynamic and energetic city from the perspective of 60 expats. This is the first story of the series.
Isaac Cohen, a biologist from Colombia, has been recording through his camera lens the beautiful and colorful wildlife in Shenzhen since arriving in town in the summer of 2017.
Colombian biologist Isaac Cohen records Shenzhen's biodiversity with his lens. Video by Liu Xudong and Wang Haolan
As an “international garden city,” Shenzhen is accelerating the construction of a national sustainable development agenda innovation demonstration zone, implementing the strictest ecological environmental protection system, to create a safe and efficient production space, a comfortable and livable living space, and an ecological space of lucid waters and blue sky.
A bird's-eye view of Maluan Waterfall. Liu Xudong 马峦瀑布航拍图。刘旭东摄。
The coming of the autumn and winter seasons witnessed the return of migratory birds. On the mudflats near the Shenzhen Bay Park Metro Station, countless numbers of birds gathered and foraged at low tide, as did wildlife enthusiasts with their binoculars and telephoto cameras. Several expats, including Colombian biology teacher Isaac Cohen, were also among them. They nodded greetings to the local photographers and then joined them in hours of waiting and searching for the birds.
Isaac Cohen waits for the coming of migratory birds at Shenzhen Bay Park. Liu Xudong Isaac Cohen在深圳湾公园静待候鸟来临。刘旭东摄
In spite of being the rapidly developing and young metropolis that it is, Shenzhen is still home to a rich variety of animals and plants. According to a relevant investigation conducted by the Shenzhen Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, Shenzhen has recorded 585 species of terrestrial vertebral animals, including 15 species of the nation’s first-class protected animals, such as the pangolin, black-faced spoonbill and the small Indian civet, as well as 78 species of second-class protected animals including the white-throated kingfisher, Chinese hwamei, black-throated laughing thrush, collared scops owl, black kite, and the Western osprey. The city has also recorded a total of 2,086 species of terrestrial plants, including two species of the nation’s first-class protected plants and 33 species of second-class protected plants.
A little grebe swims with a shirmp in its beak in Honghu Park. Isaac Cohen 洪湖公园湖中的小鸊鷉，嘴里衔着一只虾。Isaac Cohen摄
A maritime squirrel at Lianhua Hill Park. Isaac Cohen 莲花山公园的倭花鼠。Isaac Cohen摄
A Taiwan kukri snake at Bijia Hill Park. Isaac Cohen 笔架山的台湾小头蛇。Isaac Cohen摄
Cohen also keeps posting photos and articles on his social media account and on local media outlets, educating citizens on ecological equilibrium, bird migration, water resources conservation and released animals. His articles and photos also get published on the Shenzhen channel of the “Xuexi.cn” app starting last November, which is the first time for an expat in Shenzhen to open a column on the platform.
Cohen searches for animals with his telephoto camera in Baguang. Liu Xudong Cohen在坝光用长焦相机拍摄动物。刘旭东摄
Cohen shares his feelings towards the achievements Shenzhen has gained in the protection of ecological environment and nature education. “The relationship between Shenzhen and its natural environment has become more apparent in recent years, and I have learned that people here are becoming more interested in exploring nature,” said Cohen. “Many parents choose to take their children to nature education camps and observe plants and animals, which is very nice to see. Human civilization is now embracing a new developmental stage, marked by an increasing awareness of the need for ecological and environmental protection. We should protect biodiversity, in a bid to protect the earth, which is our home.”
Cohen during his visit to Baguang. Liu Xudong Cohen探索坝光。刘旭东摄