Armand David

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Armand David CM

Armand David, C.M. (September 27, 1826 Espelette near Bayonne, France – November 10, 1900 in Paris) entered the Congregation of the Mission in 1848.

In 1862 he was sent to Beijing, where he collected zoological and botanical species for a museum of natural history. During his time in China he identified 200 species of animals, of which 63 were previously unknown to Western zoologists, and 807 species of birds, 65 of which had not been described before. Especially notable were his finding of the Giant Panda and Père David's Deer, a species of deer thought at that time to be extinct in the wild.

Père David collected some 52 varieties of rhododendron, about 40 kinds of primulae (primrose), and a number of kinds of gentian. His collections formed the basis of Plantae Davidianae by Adrien Franchet of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle.


Père David - French Missionary Botanist

Pere David's deer

Extensive article in French at


Boutan, E., La Nuage et la Vitrine: Une Vie de M. David, (Bayonne:l994).

Scott CM, Bernard, Père Jean Pierre Armand David CM, Oceania Vincentian, September 2004, Vol. 5, 43-100. Media:ScottBDavid.pdf?