Among the many scholars dedicated to bicological conservation in Taiwan, Prof. Ying Wang is an influential figure who was born in Hangzhou, grew up in a military dependents’ village in Songshan, Taipei, and has long been devoted to wildlife conservation across Taiwan.
Wang has been known not only as an outstanding scholar in academic research, but also as an earnest mentor who has educated numerous talents about conservation concepts and learning attitudes. Many of his students have become the elite in the field of zoological studies in Taiwan and in Taiwan’s national parks today.
Childhood Village as a Museum
50 years ago when the communities near Songshan Airport were among rice paddies with all the fish, crayfish, frogs and snakes, Wang has started his exploration on living creatures in his hometown as a fenceless museum of natural history.
“I’ve been so into animals since I was little. I’ve always loved to watch them, and been lucky enough to have my education and career related to animals,” said Wang, who spent a wonderful childhood in the rural village and the open fields. To him, everything that crawls, swims or flies could be an interesting subject to explore.
“My childhood experiences have shaped me into a person who always loves to explore new life forms. I still have a lot to do even after I retire.”
Despite years of study in the U.S. before he obtained a Ph.D. in wildlife biology, Wang still has a special and strong bond with this homeland where he had been nurtured.
Though a Hangzhou-born mainlander who speaks limited Taiwanese, the congenial Wang was hardly hindered by the language barrier, but got along with people so well that he conducted research in Sheding at Kenting National Park (KTNP), Cigu lagoons at the Taijiang National Park (TJNP), Dafen at Yushan National Park (YSNP), mountains in Taroko National Park (TNP), and even in many remote aboriginal villages, where he always showed respectful and caring manners to local customs and people.
Fight for Restoration of Sika Deer
Since his return from the U.S., Wang spent nearly 30 years in the restoration of the Formosan Sika Deer (Cervus nippon taiouanus), which he thinks would reflect how well Taiwan do in wildlife conservation. If people could not become informed and take action to protect the environment, there’d be no future for conservation.
Back in 1980, the number of the sika deer in captive was about tens of thousands, but that of wild sika deer was almost nil. So Wang has been concerned about helping the deer live in the wild again. “The then-Director-general of CPAMI Mr. Lung-sheng Chang had the vision that the restoration of the endangered sika deer could raise people’s awareness in environmental protection and conservation,” recalled Wang.