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Video transcript

- I'm Dave Kavanaugh, I'm a senior curator of entomology at the California Academy of Sciences. This is in southwestern China. The central part of the range forms the border between Myanmar on the west and Yunnan Province of China on the east. It's about 300 miles long and fairly narrow. Maybe only 50 or 60 miles wide. And it's defined by river systems on both sides. We're not quite sure why it's so hot. But it's an area where plants and animals of several different major regions of the Earth's biodiversity overlap. We've now found more than 550 species in this one mountain range. It's just phenomenal biodiversity. And totally unexpected. This is one of the most untouched parts of all of China. The threats to that system are many. We're a little worried about that, because it's been so inaccessible. And, now, roads are being put in for logging in Burma. Logs being brought across the mountain range. So, as soon as you put roads in, then you start getting the effect of environmental deterioration on both sides of the road and that spreads as people spread. Also, there are plans for putting in I think it's 19 hydroelectric dams on the east side of the mountain range. And that will affect what's going on with all of the organisms that live along the rivers and the streams that feed the rivers. Any efforts we can make to encourage local people to appreciate what they have and to protect it, not just for themselves, but for the world. These are really one time opportunities to preserve unique and rich areas.