On Fri, 03 Apr 1998 12:18:56 +1000 John Penhallurick
> I spent three weeks
in China with Birdquest. I attach below a message about
> the trip. In brief, China is an ecological catastrophe. The Great Leap
> Forward led not only to the deaths of some 30 million people, but also the
> cutting down of virtually every tree in eastern China. According to Mark
> Beaman, the tropical forests of south Yunnan have been smashed, and half the
> forests of Sichuan have gone, and they are busily cutting down the rest. I
> believe Urumqi is in grassy plains, and hence the habitat is not so damaged.
> But driving along in eastern China, you see either buildings, rice paddies
> or useless scrub.
> John Penhallurick
The pilaging of Chinese forests certainly is disastrous,
but wouldn't "useless scrub" be a legitimate habitat and
perhaps a refuge for many forest species? I've heard of
various throwaway adjectives used to describe all sorts of
wooded habitats including regrowth gully forest in the
Otways (southern Victoria) which are inhabited by Pink
Robins, Olive Whistlers etc. and also much of the dryer
woodlands of inland Queensland which are threatened with
I suspect that I'm being politically-ecologically-correct
but "scrub" can be good habitat in quality and where it's
located in the landscape.
Back to China, is there any action being taken to conserve
Chinese forests adequately?