Wild Shanghai EP5: Discover rich variety of wildlife in Binjiang Forest Park
Binjiang Forest Park is located in the northeast corner of Pudong, which is also where the Huangpu River joins the Yangtze River.
A former reclamation site, the now lush forest is combined with a wetland habitat that provides a diverse habitat for wildlife.
Water deer, a native species to Shanghai which had been disappeared long ago, have been reintroduced here.
Let's go to see if we can find them in the park.
Yulan magnolia & Southern magnolia
(Yulania denudata & Magnolia grandiflora)
Yulan magnolia and Southern magnolia are two different tree species with beautiful white flowers, which are sometimes confused.
Yulan is the city tree of Shanghai. Usually when you see Yulan blooming, you can only see flowers without leaves. The Southern magnolia we saw here have bigger flowers, and the flower often appear together with leaves.
Rough horsetail, we call it 'jiejiecao', is a fern species. They usually grow in wet and moist areas. The stems are hollow and can grow quite tall. The leaves degenerate into small and narrow band around each joint. Like all fern species, they reproduce by spores, without any flowers or seeds.
Phallus rubicundus is a species of fungus in the stinkhorn family. It is a widespread species in China. The stalk is red, making it easy to spot in the forest. The head of the mushroom is a sticky and smelly, which can attract flies or other insects, helping them to spread spores.
Dead wood under the forest
In Binjiang Forest park, we can see lots of dead wood left on the ground under the forest cover. These are an ideal habitat for insets.
Many insects and other small creatures depend on the dead wood for food, safe shelter, and a warm place to spend the winter. You can find many different species inside the dead wood.
However, in many parks, the dead wood is usually removed, which is not good for the ecosystem.
'Ye zu shan cong', known as featherlegs. It is a special looking damselfly. You can see part of the legs are expanded, so they look like leaves. That's why they got the name. This one is male. The female does not have this feature.
Water deer was a native species to Shanghai.
However, they disappeared in Shanghai at the beginning of 20th century.
The water deer we now see in Shanghai are all from a reintroduction program since 2006.
The water deer look like small deer with no antlers. The male deer have a pair of prominent tusks, which are long canine teeth protruding from the upper jaw. The teeth give them the nickname 'vampire deer'. The teeth are controlled by the muscle. They can withdraw them when eating, and put them forward when competing with other males.