In the forests and on remote offshore islands of Taiwan, a group of conservationists are racing to collect as many rare plant species as they can before they are lost to climate change and human encroachment.
Overseen by the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Centre, the plant hunters are scouring sub-tropical Taiwan for as many rare plant samples as they can find, from the rugged eastern coast around Taitung to Dongyin, in the Matsu archipelago.
The goal is to ensure Taiwan's biodiversity is protected and that rare species that may have died out in their original habitat can one day be re-introduced.
"We hope that these species have a chance to return to their original habitat. Or one day, when we wish to create a (new) habitat, these species are able to live there happily," said Cheng.
PHOTO EDITING GABRIELLE FONSECA JOHNSON; WRITING Ben blanchard and Martin Quin Pollard; TEXT EDITING SAM HOLMES