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Photo credit: Fan Pengfei

by Thomas Gomersall

A new year brings new hope, both for people that a COVID-19 vaccine will help end the ongoing pandemic and, with your help, for the Hoolock gibbons of Myanmar that their rainforest habitat will be restored.

In Myanmar, as in much of their range, these small apes are under threat from hunting and habitat loss. The latter is especially damaging as gibbons require large areas of forest in order to maintain viable populations. But because of deforestation, many populations are divided into small, isolated forest fragments, potentially making them very vulnerable to eventual die-off through hunting or in-breeding. …


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Photo credit: Shutterstock

by Thomas Gomersall

Species:

Several snake species are known to be traded in Hong Kong. These include ones native to Hong Kong and southern China like the Chinese cobra (Naja atra), banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus) and copperhead racer (Coelognathus radiatus), but also ones from elsewhere in Asia, such as the Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii) from the Indian subcontinent and the monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) from Southeast Asia (Cockram et al, 1990; Wong et al, 2009).

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Photo credit: Thomas Gomersall

by Thomas Gomersall

Though not the most attractive habitats, the intertidal estuaries of Hong Kong support a vast array of life, including countless snails, worms, crabs and bivalves, such as clams as mussels. So for anyone who enjoys looking for small marine creatures in rock pools or in the sand, estuaries are a treasure trove.

One of the most accessible of these habitats is in Starfish Bay, which is located within easy walking distance of Ma On Shan and, at low tide, is a great place to find some of Hong Kong’s weirdest but most wonderful species. However, it is important to remember that mudflats are fragile habitats that are sensitive to disturbance, particularly to activities like clam digging. …


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by Thomas Gomersall

As part of efforts to engage young Hong Kongers with nature, WWF-Hong Kong’s Connect2Nature Academy offers a series of weekend outdoor workshops for children aged 6–12. Held at three of WWF’s visitor centres — Mai Po, Hoi Ha Wan and Island House — these classes allow children to explore some of Hong Kong’s most important habitats; from wetlands to coral reefs to the urban jungle. But more than just seeing these habitats, they also enjoy an immersive learning experience about the incredible species that call them home, as well as valuable skills in teamwork and citizen science. …


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Photo credit: Thomas Gomersall

by Thomas Gomersall

Rhinoceros beetles (Subfamily: Dynastinae) are a group of beetles named for the large nose horn found in the males. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are actually harmless insects that feed mainly on sap and males mostly use their horns for jousting with each other over females (Fang, 2006, p. 60–p.61; Ferguson, 2019).

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Photo credit: Olivia To

by Thomas Gomersall

珠三角的中華白海豚正面臨重大危機。該水域原有約2,000條白海豚,相信是世界最大的中華白海豚種群。但由於遭受嚴重的人為威脅,該種群的白海豚數量正以每年約3%的速度減少。在香港,白海豚的數目在過去15年間就下降了超過80%。科學研究預測,若不立即採取行動,珠三角的白海豚很可能在不久的將來滅絕。

為此,來自珠三角的鯨豚專家包括政府代表、學者和保育專家共同提出一套《緊急保育行動》,列出整個珠三角所有重要的白海豚棲息地,以及有助穩定和恢復白海豚種群的措施。其中,最重要的便是保護白海豚的核心棲息地,那裡是牠們重要的覓食、繁殖、育幼、休息和社交的場所,對種群恢復至關重要。


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Photo credit: LIndsay Porter

by Thomas Gomersall

On the western fringes of Hong Kong, the Pearl River empties its sediment-laden waters into the Pearl River estuary, where the currents carry them south to western Lantau Island. The high sedimentation, poor visibility and variable salinity of these waters make them a challenging environment for marine animals to live in. In the last several decades, additional stresses have come in the form of habitat loss and degradation, overfishing, increased anthropogenic noise from boats and construction, and toxins like heavy metals and industrial waste washed down from the Pearl River.

Blasted and poisoned from all sides, it seems a wonder that anything can still survive here. But survive here they do in spite of the trials. Though with further development of the west Lantau waters imminent, and a frustrating lack of political will to establish effectively managed marine protected areas large or strategically placed enough, how much longer these species will be able to hold out remains in serious question. …


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by Thomas Gomersall

正值觀鳥的黃金季節,這亦是一個讓人們了解普通觀鳥活動對保育工作重要性的好機會!特別是香港,若沒有盡心盡力、滿懷熱忱的觀鳥團體,城市裡最稀有、最具標誌性的雀鳥可能早已絕跡。

「觀鳥愛好者對雀鳥充滿熱情,他們比任何博物學家或對其他動物感興趣的人更有激情。」世界自然基金會香港分會野生動物及濕地保育總監Eric Wikramanayake說。

例如,2000年在塱原興建落馬洲支線的計劃,本會在內的多個環團及觀鳥人士於當年發起抵制運動,並獲大批民眾支持,迫使政府拒絕發出環保許可證。


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Photo credit Thomas Gomersall

by Thomas Gomersall

The focus of WWF-Hong Kong’s Walk for Nature 2020, which ran from 7–8 of November, was on the habitats of Mai Po Nature Reserve and their importance.

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WWF HK

WWF contributors share regular insights on Hong Kong biodiversity and conservation issues

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