Becky Shu Chen
- Project name: A sustainable future for Chinese giant salamanders
- Project site: Kunming, Yunnan Province P.R.China
- EDGE species: Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus
- Active: 2014 - 2016
Becky is a ZSL employee based in China. She has previously undertaken interdisciplinary research focusing on Asian elephant conservation in Yunnan, China, and is determined to become one of China’s future conservation leaders.
She coordinated the large scale Darwin Initiative funded Chinese Giant salamander project which had four EDGE Fellows working on it.
The EDGE Chinese giant salamander project aimed to improve the knowledge and capacity to underpin, promote and implement a strategic conservation plan for the Chinese giant salamander. Four fellows contributed to the project, bringing their own personal skill set to each component.
In addition to acting as coordinator of the project, Becky’s focus was to raise the profile of the giant salamander and highlight the importance of freshwater ecosystems to facilitate conservation at the local, national and international scale.
The 2014 Chinese Giant salamander project achievements include:
- ZSL signed an MoU with the FNNR management authority, which has committed to supporting ongoing amphibian work in the reserve and has agreed to establish a visitor centre featuring Chinese Giant salamanders and contribute towards the costs of undertaking field surveys;
- Training workshops have been held to train the project collaborators in standardised protocols for field survey methods. This will increase the level of monitoring the salamander receives across its range;
- Shu Chen presented findings from the project at the 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology in Montpellier, France;
- A documentary film has been produced for the project: “Giants on the EDGE”, and was aired at the 3rd Asia Regional Conference of the Society for Conservation Biology to further raise the conservation awareness of the Chinese Giant salamander internationally;
- A book aimed at encouraging students to explore the wildlife of Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve was published and launched.