Terry Townshend is a conservationist and climate change expert. Based in Beijing, he runs the Birding Beijing website and has spearheaded efforts to save some of China’s most endangered birds, in particular the Jankowski’s Bunting, a poorly known bird living in remote northeast China with a known population of under 100 pairs. In 2012 he became a Species Champion with BirdLife International.
Passionate about bringing together scientific discovery with public engagement, Terry has set up citizen science projects to track some of Beijing’s most well-known birds, including the Beijing Swift and the Beijing Cuckoo. The projects, involving schools, the public and national and international media, have revealed, for the first time, that these birds migrate to southern Africa, inspiring millions of people about the wonders of bird migration.
With a professional background in environmental law, Terry was the lead author of the first edition of the groundbreaking Global Climate Legislation Study, examining climate change-related laws across the world, and remains a co-author today. He has presented the results of the study to the US Senate, Mexican Congress, Japanese Diet and the South Korean National Assembly, and is an adviser to the Chinese government on the development of their climate change law.
Terry has found several new birds for Beijing, including the capital’s first Tree Pipit in the UK Ambassador’s garden. He is a regular contributor to the China Birdwatching Society’s lecture series and, in 2014, was honoured to deliver the keynote lecture at the National Zoological Museum to celebrate China’s National Bird Day. In early 2015 he was delighted to take up a Directorship with EcoAction, a new and innovative Chinese company dedicated to ecotourism and environmental education.
Terry is a member of the BirdLife International Global Advisory Group, a co-author on Europe’s leading birding blog, Birding Frontiers and, since 2014, a Brand Ambassador for Swarovski Optik. In September 2015 he was presented with the inaugural “Birding Master” award at the 1st China International Birding Festival.