Shanghai Roots & Shoots has been working with Bangliang Nature Reserve to restore the habitat for Cao Vit Gibbon since 2021. Every tree and plant on the habitat are critical for the restoration of the ecosystem and the survival of the species. For this reason, Shanghai Roots & Shoots and Shanghai Chenshan Botanic Garden together held an International Gibbon Day event. A variety of the event sessions focus on environmental education to raise the awareness of the habitat restoration for the gibbons.
Dr.Changyong Ma giving the lecture on gibbons, Photo by Peiling Liu
In the morning, the lecture and workshop were held in the classroom. And in the afternoon, the volunteers set up four booths at four spots, each introducing a particular plant which can be found in the original habitat as well as in Chenshan. The visitors were given a special map to look for these spots. In the classroom, Dr. Changyong Ma gave the lecture on Gibbon and their habitat. The loss of habitat is threatening the survival of the gibbons. They used to be found across China, but now habitat were degraded and fragmented because of human activities.
Hanlong Chen from Shanghai Roots & Shoots talking about the connection between the plants and the gibbons, Photo by Peiling Liu
Hanlong Chen from Shanghai Roots & Shoots and Mr. Haiyang Shou from Chenshan Education Department introduced to the audience, how to learn more about the gibbons in the botanic garden. In Chenshan, you can study the plants which are essential to the habitat of the gibbon. Conserving the habitat is the only way to protect the critically endangered species.
Listeners answering the questions, Photo by Peiling Liu
Kids building the habitat of the gibbon using LEGO bricks, Photo by Peiling Liu
The kids were then using the LEGO bricks to build the habitat of the gibbon. In half an hour, they completed a very impressive work to show where the gibbon would live.
Visitors holdingthe map stopping at the booth, Photo by Peiling Liu
After the lecture and workshop, each kid was given a Treasure Hunt Map, to look for the special four spots at Chenshan. Each spot with an educational booth was available for all the visitors to stop by and learn about a plant of Karst Landscape and a fact about Cao Vit Gibbon. By participating the games, the visitors were given a special plant stickers to complete their map.
Visitors guessing which is the monkey and which is the gibbon at the first spot, Photo by Peiling Liu
The first spot was located in the glasshouse, and the plant to be find is the banyan tree. This is one of the most important local trees on the habitat of Cao Vit Gibbon. The glasshouse also mimicked the climate of the original habitat.
The Choerospondias axillaris trees near the second spot, photo by Chenyu Wang
The second spot was near the Choerospondias axillaris trees, which were the plants to find on this spot. When the trees were ripe, the fruits would be fallen on the ground. These fruits are one of the favorites of Cao Vit Gibbon.
The volunteers of the third spot, Photo by Peiling Liu
The third spot was located on the island of ferns, where the visitors would find all kinds of ferns. In order to adapt to the multi-layered plant structure of the tropics, some ferns are parasitic or epiphytic on other plants or rocks. Those ferns can use special leaves to collect dead leaves to store nutrients.
The volunteers telling the visitors what elephant grass do on the habitat, photo by Jiayuan Guo
The fourth spot was located in front of batches of elephant grass, which was the plants to get to know as Gramineous. Gramineous plants was typical tropical plants famous for growing rapidly and invading the living space of other plants, thus affecting the restoration of habitat .
The event came to an end at around 3:30 pm. Over a thousand visitors have stopped by the booths, encountering the gibbons in an unexpected way, learning about the creature a little bit more.