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Country parks and conservation in Hong Kong

Country parks and conservation in Hong Kong

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Although Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 is regarded as one of the world's great cities, out of the total 1,092 km² of land, about three-quarters is countryside. Scenically, Hong Kong has a great deal to offer - a landscape rising from sandy beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

es and rocky foreshores to heights of almost 1,000 metres, woodland
Woodland
Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...

s and mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

s covered by open grassland
Grassland
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants . However, sedge and rush families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica...

 and a variety of scenic vistas rarely, if ever, matched in so small a territorial unit. Most of the Hong Kong's parks have over 1,000 species of plants.

Country parks


To conserve and, where appropriate, open up the countryside for the greater enjoyment of the population, the Country Parks Ordinance was enacted in 1976 to provide a legal framework for the designation, development and management of Country Parks and Special Areas. It provides for the establishment of a Country and Marine Parks Board to advise the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation who, as Country and Marine Parks Authority, is responsible for all matters on Country Parks and Special Areas.

Country Parks are designated for the purposes of nature conservation, countryside recreation and outdoor education. Special Areas are created mainly for the purpose of nature conservation.

The parks


The country parks and special areas cover a total area of 440  km². The country parks comprise scenic hills, woodlands, reservoirs and coastline in all parts of Hong Kong. A total of 24 country parks and 17 special areas have been designated. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department , formerly Agriculture and Fisheries Department before 2001, of the Hong Kong Government is responsible for agriculture and fisheries in Hong Kong, conservation projects and issues, and managing the country parks and special areas...

 (AFCD) manages the parks and is responsible for tree planting, litter collection, fire fighting, development control and provision of recreation and education facilities. The country parks are very popular with all sectors of the community and spending a day in a country park is accepted by many as one of the best recreational choices in town. About 12 million visitors were recorded in 2004 and most visitors engaged in leisure walking, fitness exercises, hiking, barbecuing, family picnics and camping.

The parks include Tai Mo Shan
Tai Mo Shan
Tai Mo Shan has the highest peak in Hong Kong, with an altitude of 957 m. It is located approximately at the geographical centre of the New Territories....

, Pat Sin Leng
Pat Sin Leng
Pat Sin Leng is a mountain range in the northeast New Territories of Hong Kong, located within the Pat Sin Leng Country Park. The name Pat Sin Leng literally means "Mountains of the Eight Immortals", who are famous xian in Chinese Mythology, and symbolizes the eight peaks along the Pat Sin Leng...

 mountain range, Ma On Shan
Ma On Shan (area)
Ma On Shan is a new town along the eastern coast of Tolo Harbour in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Although it was initially an extension of Sha Tin New Town, it has been designed to have its own town centre and is now classified as a separate new town in government reports...

, Lion Rock
Lion Rock
Lion Rock, or less formally Lion Rock Hill, is a famous hill in Hong Kong. It is located between Kowloon Tong in Kowloon and Tai Wai in the New Territories, and is 495 metres high...

, Sai Kung Peninsula, forest plantations at Shing Mun
Shing Mun
Shing Mun is an area between Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin in the New Territories of Hong Kong. It is formerly, as suggested by its Chinese characters, a gate between the two areas separated by a range of hills. The Shing Mun Valley carries water to Shing Mun River. Before the construction of Shing Mun...

 and Tai Lam, Shek Lei Pui Reservoir
Shek Lei Pui Reservoir
Shek Lei Pui Reservoir is a reservoir in Kam Shan Country Park, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong. It is a part of Kowloon Reservoir.Formerly Shek Lei Pui Village, the construction works of the reservoir began in 1923 and completed in 1925...

 group and Lantau Island
Lantau Island
Lantau Island , based on the old local name of Lantau Peak , is the largest island in Hong Kong, located at the mouth of the Pearl River. Administratively, most of Lantau Island is part of the Islands District of Hong Kong...

. Several islands such as Ping Chau
Ping Chau
Ping Chau is an island in Hong Kong. It is also known as Tung Ping Chau . Tung is prepended to the name so as to avoid possible confusion with Peng Chau, another island in Hong Kong with an identically pronounced name in the Cantonese language...

 in Mirs Bay
Mirs Bay
Mirs Bay is a bay in the northeast of Crooked Island and Sai Kung Peninsula of Hong Kong. Ping Chau stands in the midst of the bay...

 are included, and Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km², as of 2008...

 itself has five Country Parks.

Facilities


Park facilities provided in recreational sites include tables and benches, barbecue pits, litterbins, children’s play apparatus, shelters, campsites and toilets — all carefully designed to blend in with the environment. Footpaths and family walks provide easy access to the hills and the woodlands for visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of these areas. Major paths are being improved and way marked
Waymarking
Waymarking is an activity where people locate and log interesting locations around the world, usually with a GPS receiver and a digital camera. Waymarking differs from geocaching in that there is no physical container to locate at the given coordinates. Waymarking identifies points of interest for...

 through the hilly terrain.

The four long-distance hiking trails are very popular among hikers:
  • The MacLehose Trail
    MacLehose Trail
    The MacLehose Trail , opened on 26 October 1979, is a hiking trail that crosses much of the New Territories, starting from Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung, in the east to Tuen Mun in the west in the territory of Hong Kong. The whole trail is 100 kilometres long, marked by distance posts at 500m intervals...

     (100 km) traverses the New Territories
    New Territories
    New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong, alongside Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. It makes up 86.2% of Hong Kong's territory. Historically, it is the region described in The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory...

     from Sai Kung in the east to Tuen Mun
    Tuen Mun
    Tuen Mun is a town near the mouth of Tuen Mun River and Castle Peak Bay in the New Territories, Hong Kong. It was one of the earliest settlements in Hong Kong which can be dated back to the Neolithic period. In the more recent past, it was home to many Tanka fishermen who gathered at the Castle...

     in the west.
  • The Lantau Trail
    Lantau Trail
    The Lantau Trail , opened on 4 December, 1984, is a long-distance footpath on Lantau Island in the New Territories of Hong Kong. The 70 km trail is circular, starting and finishing in Mui Wo. The Lantau Trail has good visitor facilities along the way, and the route is well marked. There are...

     (70 km) is a circular trail on Lantau Island.
  • The Hong Kong Trail
    Hong Kong Trail
    Hong Kong Trail , opened in 1985, is a long-distance footpath from Victoria Peak to Big Wave Bay on Hong Kong Island. The Hong Kong Trail is a 50 kilometre walking route which passes through the five country parks on Hong Kong island...

     (50 km) traverses all the five Country Parks on Hong Kong Island.
  • The Wilson Trail
    Wilson Trail
    The Wilson Trail is a 78 km long-distance footpath in Hong Kong, only 15 km run through non-park countryside or other areas. It was named after David Wilson, Baron Wilson of Tillyorn, who was Governor of Hong Kong from 1987 to 1992. The Wilson Trail was developed by Friends of the...

     (78 km) opened in January 1996 stretches from Stanley
    Stanley, Hong Kong
    Stanley is a town and a tourist attraction in Hong Kong. It located on a peninsula on the southeastern part of Hong Kong Island. It is east of Repulse Bay and west of Shek O, adjacent to Chung Hom Kok...

     in the south of Hong Kong Island to Nam Chung
    Nam Chung
    Nam Chung is an area in the north eastern New Territories of Hong Kong, west of Luk Keng and to the southwest of the Starling Inlet , opposite of Sha Tau Kok....

     in the north of the New Territories.

Education and visitor service



More facilities are provided to help visitors to enjoy and understand the countryside. Visitor centres have been established at Aberdeen, Plover Cove, Sai Kung, Clear Water Bay, Shing Mun and Tai Mo Shan. The Lions Nature Education Centre at Tsiu Hang Special Area in Sai Kung is a special attraction to visitors as it consists of a rich collection of fruit-bearing and amenity trees, vegetables, rocks and minerals and other local vegetation. The Shing Mun Arboretum has a collection of about 300 plant species. Along nature trails and tree walks, there are on-site interpretative signs for those who wish to study nature. AFCD has also set up a website and a number of fax-on-demand lines to provide the public with information about country parks. Furthermore, community involved conservation programmes such as the Corporate Afforestation Scheme, School Visit Programme, Guided Walks and many other voluntary services have been organized. In 2004, more than 200 000 people participated in these conservation programmes.

The parks and the special areas contain a wide variety of vegetation, including native and introduced tree species such as Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora), Machilus
Machilus
Machilus is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Lauraceae. Is distributed in temperate, tropical and subtropical Asia. Machilus genus include currently more than 100 species, mostly in laurel forest habitat.-Overview:...

, Schima
Schima
[[Schima is a [[genus]] of evergreen trees belonging to the tea family, [[Theaceae]].The genus inhabits warm temperate to subtropical climates across southern and southeastern Asia, from the eastern [[Himalaya]] of [[Nepal]] and eastern [[India]] across [[Indochina]], southern [[China]],...

, Acacia
Acacia
Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not...

, Slash Pine
Slash Pine
Pinus elliottii, commonly known as the Slash Pine, is a pine native to the southeastern United States, from southern South Carolina west to southeastern Louisiana, and south to the Florida Keys....

 and Brisbane Box. There are also animals such as Barking Deer, Macaque
Macaque
The macaques constitute a genus of Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. - Description :Aside from humans , the macaques are the most widespread primate genus, ranging from Japan to Afghanistan and, in the case of the barbary macaque, to North Africa...

, Wild Boar, Civet cat
Civet cat
Civet cat is an imprecise term that is used for a variety of cat-like creatures including:*Civets, of the families Viverridae and Nandiniidae*Ring-tailed Cat or North American Civet Cat , related to the raccoons...

, Pangolin
Pangolin
A pangolin , also scaly anteater or Trenggiling, is a mammal of the order Pholidota. There is only one extant family and one genus of pangolins, comprising eight species. There are also a number of extinct taxa. Pangolins have large keratin scales covering their skin and are the only mammals with...

, Chinese Porcupine and Squirrel
Squirrel
Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots , flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa and have been introduced to Australia...

; birds such as the Greater Coucal
Greater Coucal
The Greater Coucal or Crow Pheasant is a large non-parasitic member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. A widespread resident in Asia, from India, east to south China and Indonesia, it is divided into several subspecies, some being treated as full species...

, Great Barbet
Great Barbet
The Great Barbet, Megalaima virens, is an Asian barbet. Barbets are a group of near passerine birds with a worldwide tropical distribution. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills....

, Chinese Bulbul, Crested Mynah, Spotted Dove
Spotted Dove
The Spotted Dove , also known as the Spotted Turtle Dove, is a pigeon which is a resident breeding bird in the Indian Subcontinent including India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka east to southern Tibet and Southeast Asia...

 and Black-eared Kite; and a large variety of insects and about 240 species of butterflies. Over 500 bird nest boxes have been introduced into country parks to enhance the breeding of birds.

The Tai Po Kau Special Area is a 'Nature Reserve' and caters for those who wish to study tree, plant, bird and insect life, as well as providing pleasant and interesting walks. There is a total ban on the lighting of fires in this important woodland area. This is Hong Kong's best site for forest birding, with species including Chestnut Bulbul
Chestnut Bulbul
The Chestnut Bulbul is a species of songbird in the Pycnonotidae family.It is found in China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.-References:...

, Scarlet
Scarlet Minivet
The Scarlet Minivet, Pericrocotus flammeus is a small passerine bird. This minivet is found in tropical southern Asia from the Indian subcontinent east to southern China, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are common resident breeding birds in forests and other well-wooded habitats including...

 and Grey-throated Minivets, Orange-bellied Leafbird
Orange-bellied Leafbird
The Orange-Bellied Leafbird, Chloropsis hardwickii, is a bird native to the eastern Himalayas and south China to the Malay Peninsula. It is brightly colored with an orange belly, a green back, a blue tail and flight feathers, and a black and blue patch over its throat and chest. It has a long,...

, Fork-tailed Sunbird
Fork-tailed Sunbird
The Fork-tailed Sunbird is a species of bird in the Nectariniidae family.It is found in China, Hong Kong, Laos, and Vietnam....

, and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
The Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker is a species of passerine bird in the flowerpecker family Dicaeidae. Sexually dimorphic, the male has navy blue upperparts with a bright red streak down its back from its crown to its tail coverts, while the female and juvenile are predominantly olive green...

. Several species that were certainly or probably escapees from captivity have become established here - for instance, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
The Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Sitta frontalis, is a small passerine bird found in southern Asia from Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka east to south China and Indonesia...

, Blue-winged Minla
Blue-winged Minla
The Blue-winged Siva , also known as the Blue-winged Minla, is a species of bird in the Timaliidae family. It has in the past been placed in the genus Minla instead of the monotypic Siva....

 and Silver-eared Mesia
Silver-eared Mesia
The Silver-eared Mesia is a species of bird in the Timaliidae family.It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.-References:...

. Migrants occur here, especially during spring and autumn, and in winter; the globally near-threatened Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher
Japanese Paradise-flycatcher
The Japanese Paradise-flycatcher , also called the Black Paradise-flycatcher, is a medium-sized passerine bird...

 occurs annually in small numbers.

Increasing emphasis is being given to facilities to help visitors to enjoy and understand the countryside. In this connection, six visitor centres have been established at Aberdeen, Plover Cove
Plover Cove
Plover Cove or Shuen Wan Hoi is a cove in the Tai Po area of Hong Kong, near Tolo Channel and Tolo Harbour.It is encircled by the hills Pat Sin Leng and Wan Leng , the Yim Tin Tsai, Ma Shi Chau and Tung Tau Chau island ranges, and a long peninsula extending from Fu Tau Sha...

, Sai Kung, Clear Water Bay
Clear Water Bay
Clear Water Bay is a bay on the east shore of Clear Water Bay Peninsula of Hong Kong located within Clear Water Bay Country Park. There are two beaches at Clear Water Bay, namely Clear Water Bay 1st beach and Clear Water Bay 2nd beach...

, Shing Mun and Tai Mo Shan. The Lions Nature Education Centre at Tsiu Hang Special Area in Sai Kung, consists of a rich collection of fruit-bearing and amenity trees, vegetables, rocks and minerals, and other local vegetation, has been established for the purpose of nature education. The Shing Mun Arboretum has a collection of about 300 plant species. Along nature trails and tree walks, there are on-site interpretative signs for those who wish to study the nature.

Management


Fire is the major hazard and it bedevils park management for about six months every year. This is the time of the cool, dry winter when many people like to spend a day out in the hills-especially at weekends and public holidays. In a normal fire season there can be as many as 300 hill fires in the parks with five to seven fires a day when conditions are particularly bad. In 1986, a 34 hour blaze destroyed 282,500 trees at Shing Mun and Tai Mo Shan and ravaged 7.4 km² of countryside. Fire is the greatest threat to the beauty of the country parks.

Litter is another problem. One of the major tasks of park management is to collect litter left by the visitors which in 2001 totalled some 3 850 tonnes.

With such problems in mind, the Country and Marine Parks Authority has provided barbecue pits and litter bins located strategically throughout the park areas for the visitors. The Authority also prosecutes anyone found littering, damaging facilities or lighting fires outside the approved barbecue sites in the Country Parks.

A number of management centres have been established in strategic locations within the Country Parks from which construction, maintenance and protection services are provided.

Marine parks



The Marine Parks Ordinance protects and conserves the marine environment and a rich collection of aquatic animals and plants, such as corals, sea grasses and dolphins. The ordinance also provides the legal framework for the designation, control and management of marine parks and marine reserves. The Marine Parks and Marine Reserve Regulation provides for the prohibition and control of certain activities in marine parks and marine reserve.

Conservation


A wide variety of animal and plant life can be found in large areas of Hong Kong, especially in the New Territories. The Government’s increasing concern with the protection of the natural environment has been demonstrated both by legislation and by the activities of its conservation staff. Game hunting is prohibited.

Habitat protection


About 38 per cent of land in Hong Kong has been designated as country parks and special areas which provide statutory protection for the habitats of our diverse flora and fauna. In addition, 67 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) have been listed to recognize the scientific importance of these sites and to ensure that due consideration to conservation is given when developments in or near these sites are proposed. For example, San Chau and Ngong Ping at Lantau have been listed as SSSIs in recognition of the presence of the largest population of Rhododendron championae and Romer’s Tree Frog (Philautus romeri) in Hong Kong respectively.

Flora


The flora of Hong Kong is diverse in character and surprisingly numerous in species. Many typical species of the Southeast Asian tropical flora are seen here at the limit of their northern distribution range. More than 3,100 species and varieties of vascular plants have been recorded in Hong Kong, approximately 2,100 of which are native and the rest are of exotic origin. Many species of plants in Hong Kong are noteworthy for the beauty or fragrance of their blossoms. Bauhinia blakeana
Bauhinia blakeana
Bauhinia blakeana is an orchid tree of the genus Bauhinia with large thick leaves and striking purplish red flowers. The fragrant, orchid-like flowers are usually across, and bloom from early November to the end of March...

 (Hong Kong Orchid Tree) was discovered in 1908 at Pok Fu Lam
Pok Fu Lam
Pok Fu Lam or Pokfulam is a residential area on Hong Kong Island, at the western end of the Southern District.Pok Fu Lam is a valley between Victoria Peak and Mount Kellet, around Telegraph Bay....

. It is among the finest of the Bauhinia
Bauhinia
Bauhinia is a genus of more than 200 species of flowering plants in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the large flowering plant family Fabaceae, with a pantropical distribution. The genus was named after the Bauhin brothers, Swiss-French botanists....

 genus anywhere in the world. The flower of the bauhinia is prominently featured on the flag of Hong Kong
Flag of Hong Kong
The Flag of Hong Kong — or Regional Flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China — features a white, stylised, five-petal Hong Kong orchid tree flower in the centre of a red field. Its design was adopted on 4 April 1990 at the Third Session of the...

. It is widely planted — being propagated by cuttings since its seeds are usually sterile.

Hong Kong Herbarium


AFCD's Hong Kong Herbarium is responsible for the systematic collection, identification and curation of plant specimens of the Hong Kong flora. It plays a significant role in supporting the studies on taxonomy, ecology and conservation of Hong Kong flora. Established in 1878, it houses approximately 37 000 plant specimens and is equipped with a specialised library to support its function.

Conservation of flora


Efforts have been made to conserve rare and endangered plant species. In addition to habitat protection, they are also conserved through the following approaches.
  • Species protection: Under the Forests and Countryside Ordinance, damaging plant in any forest or plantation on government land is prohibited. Some rare and attractive species are specifically listed in the Forestry Regulations to control the sale and possession of such listed species as Camellia species, Enkianthus quinqueflorus, Iris speculatrix and Impatiens hongkongensis.

  • Active propagation: Various methods such as seed collection, cutting, air layering, etc., have been attempted to propagate rare and endangered plants. Transplantation may also be carried out if their habitats are found to be under threat. Successful examples of active propagation include Keteleeria fortunei, Camellia crapnelliana and Camellia granthamiana.

  • Ex-situ conservation: A base for flora conservation has been set up at the Shing Mun Arboretum. About 300 species including some rare species have been propagated and established there for conservation purpose.

Terrestrial mammals


Larger wild mammals are declining in numbers in Hong Kong, mainly because of the increased urbanisation. Civets
CIVETS
The CIVETS is an acronym for favored emerging markets coined in late 2009 by Robert Ward, Global Forecasting Director for the Economist Intelligence Unit . The term has also been used by HSBC's chief executive Michael Geoghegan...

, leopard cat
Leopard Cat
The leopard cat is a small wild cat of South and East Asia. Since 2002 it has been listed as Least Concern by IUCN as it is widely distributed but threatened by habitat loss and hunting in parts of its range...

s and Chinese porcupines are seen occasionally at night in the New Territories. Indian muntjac
Indian Muntjac
The Common Muntjac , also called the Red Muntjac, Indian Muntjac or Barking deer is the most numerous muntjac deer species. It has soft, short, brownish or greyish hair, sometimes with creamy markings. This species is omnivorous, feeding on fruits, shoots, seeds, birds' eggs as well as small...

 (also called barking deer) are uncommon but are heard and seen in wooded areas. There are wild boar
Boar
Wild boar, also wild pig, is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family Suidae. The species includes many subspecies. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises...

s in some remote areas, occasionally causing damage to crops. Unlike others, rhesus macaques are easily seen in Kam Shan Country Park. Visitors are reminded not to feed these wild animals as uncontrolled feeding has led to unnatural growth of the monkey population and caused nuisances. A feeding ban has been implemented and enforced in the area since July 1999 to help the monkeys revert back to forage natural food in the natural environment. Smaller mammals such as squirrels, the woodland shrew, house shrew and bats are common in rural areas. As of 2005, some 54 species of terrestrial mammals have been recorded in Hong Kong.

Birds


Hong Kong is a major stopover point of Asia’s migration routes for birds. The wide varieties of local habitats including wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

s, grassland
Grassland
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants . However, sedge and rush families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica...

s, woodland
Woodland
Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...

s, seashore
Seashore
-Landform:* Coast* Intertidal zone, between high and low water lines* National seashore, a special designation in the United States* Shore-Other:* Seashore , an open source image editor, based on GIMP written in Cocoa for Mac OS X...

s, and farmlands contribute to the diversity of the birds. There are over 490 species of wild birds including residents, winter visitors, passage migrants, and summer visitors recorded in Hong Kong. Some of these are globally endangered species such as Black-faced Spoonbill. About 120 species have been recorded breeding in the territory. The Mai Po Marshes
Mai Po Marshes
Mai Po Marshes is a nature reserve located near Yuen Long in Hong Kong. It is part of Deep Bay, an internationally significant wetland that is actually a shallow estuary, at the mouths of Sham Chun River, Shan Pui River and Tin Shui Wai Nullah...

 are listed as a restricted area and access is restricted to permit holders. This area of mudflat, mangrove
Mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

 and shrimp ponds is the richest habitat for migratory birds. More than 320 species of birds have been recorded in the area and about 120 of these are rarely seen elsewhere in the territory. The Marshes form part of the 15 km² Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site which was listed in 1995 as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention
Ramsar Convention
The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, i.e., to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural,...

. This area is also one of the participants of the East Asian — Australasian Shorebird Reserve Network.

Amphibians and reptiles


Hong Kong has over 100 species of amphibian
Amphibian
Amphibians , are a class of vertebrate animals including animals such as toads, frogs, caecilians, and salamanders. They are characterized as non-amniote ectothermic tetrapods...

s and reptile
Reptile
Reptiles are members of a class of air-breathing, ectothermic vertebrates which are characterized by laying shelled eggs , and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors...

s. Among them, over 40 species are snakes. Most snakes in Hong Kong are harmless and there have been very few cases of known bites by highly venomous snakes. There are nine species of chelonians found in Hong Kong, of which the Green Turtle is of particular interest in that it is the only known species of sea turtles breeding locally. The nesting site of Green Turtles at Sham Wan of Lamma Island
Lamma Island
Lamma Island , also known as Pok Liu Chau or simply Pok Liu , is the third largest island in Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Islands District.-Name:...

 was designated a restricted area in 1999 to protect the species during the breeding season. Hong Kong has a total of 23 species of amphibians. Three of them, Hong Kong Cascade Frog, Hong Kong Newt and the endemic Romer's Tree Frog have been listed under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance due to their rarity. A site that supports the largest population of the Romer's Tree Frog — part of Ngong Ping on Lantau Island, has also been designated as SSSI in May 1999.

Insects


Hong Kong has a rich insect fauna. At least 6,784 species has been recorded so far and 700 additional species are expected to be found. There are about 240 butterfly
Butterfly
A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured...

 species, including the beautiful Swallowtails
Swallowtail butterfly
Swallowtail butterflies are large, colorful butterflies that form the family Papilionidae. There are over 550 species, and though the majority are tropical, members of the family are found on all continents except Antarctica...

 and Birdwing
Birdwing
Birdwings are papilionid butterflies native to the Indian Subcontinent, mainland and archipelagic Southeast Asia and Australasia, and are usually regarded as belonging to three genera: Ornithoptera, Trogonoptera and Troides. Some authorities include additional genera...

s (Troides helena and Troides aeacus). Of over 2,000 moth
Moth
A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moth , with thousands of species yet to be described...

 species recorded, the Atlas moth
Attacus atlas
The Atlas moth is a large saturniid moth found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, and common across the Malay archipelago....

 (Attacus atlas) is outstanding for its large size with wing span up to 30 centimetres, while the Chinese Moon Moth
Actias ningpoana
Actias ningpoana is a moth of the Family Saturniidae, also known as the Chinese Moon Moth.-Taxonomy:The taxon ningpoana Felder has been regarded as a subspecies of Actias selene until recently and was included as a good species in Ylla et at...

 (Actias ningpoana
Actias ningpoana
Actias ningpoana is a moth of the Family Saturniidae, also known as the Chinese Moon Moth.-Taxonomy:The taxon ningpoana Felder has been regarded as a subspecies of Actias selene until recently and was included as a good species in Ylla et at...

) is eye-catching for its long hindwing tails. Endemic
Endemic (ecology)
Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

 moth species include Athetis hongkongensis, Ugia purpurea, Athetis bispurca and Egira ambigua. The dragonfly
Dragonfly
A dragonfly is a winged insect belonging to the order Odonata, the suborder Epiprocta or, in the strict sense, the infraorder Anisoptera . It is characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body...

 fauna is diverse, with over 110 species recorded, some of which are endemic to Hong Kong. Hong Kong also has 235 species of ants, 17 species of preying mantids, 31 species of cockroaches, 6 species of flea, 78 species of mosquitoes and 124 species of grasshoppers. 4,583 species are known to be plant eating (phytophagous) and over 1,000 species are beneficial insects either preying on or existing as parasites over other pests.

Aquatic animals


The marine fauna of Hong Kong is exceptionally diverse. Though primarily tropical, it is an admixture of tropical South China Sea and temperate Chinese forms because of the seasonal fluctuations of warm and cold water and monsoon weather conditions. Of an estimated 1,800 species of fish on the South China continental shelf, clupeoids, croakers and sea breams are the dominant groups in Hong Kong waters. Farther offshore, golden thread, big-eyes and others are also of high value to fishermen. Marine invertebrates are also abundant — ranging from corals, molluscs to crustaceans. There are 84 species of stony corals in Hong Kong. The richest coral communities prevail to the east of Hong Kong where the waters are both sheltered and free from the influence of Pearl River. Marine mammals, Chinese White Dolphin and Finless Porpoise, are resident species and can be found year-round. All cetaceans are protected in Hong Kong under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance. There are more than 120 species of native freshwater fish recorded of which about 30 primary freshwater species spend their entire lives in freshwaters. Of the primary freshwater fish, cyprinids are dominant.

List of country parks & special areas in Hong Kong


Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km², as of 2008...

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  • Aberdeen Country Park
    Aberdeen Country Park
    Aberdeen Country Park is located on the south end of Hong Kong Island near the area called Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Much of the south side of the island is underdeveloped and retains more of the rural feel that predominated on the island before it was settled by the British. The park extends to Wan...

  • Lung Fu Shan Country Park
    Lung Fu Shan Country Park
    Lung Fu Shan Country Park is a country park located in the Central and Western District of Hong Kong. It covers the densely vegetated slopes of Lung Fu Shan, including the disused Pinewood Battery as well as the Pinewood Garden picnic area, providing a scenic backdrop to the residential and...

  • Pok Fu Lam Country Park
    Pok Fu Lam Country Park
    Pok Fu Lam Country Park is located on Pok Fu Lam, the western end of the Southern District of Hong Kong Island. The 2.7 square kilometre hectare park was designated in 1979.The park includes:*Sylvan sanctuary*Pok Fu Lam Reservoir *Hong Kong Trail...

  • Shek O Country Park
    Shek O Country Park
    Shek O Country Park is a rural marine park located on Shek O, Southern District, Hong Kong and facing the South China Sea. The 701 hectare park opened in 1979.The park's attractions include:*Dragon's Back*D'Aguilar Peak*Hong Kong Trail*To Tei Wan Village...

  • Tai Tam Country Park
    Tai Tam Country Park
    Tai Tam Country Park is a country park in the Tai Tam area in the south end of Hong Kong Island. The park was also expanded with the addition of the Tai Tam Country Park...

  • Tai Tam Country Park (Quarry Bay Extension)
    Tai Tam Country Park (Quarry Bay extension)
    Tai Tam Country Park is the eastern part of the park system in Hong Kong Island called Tai Tam Country Park. This 270 hectare section of the park is located near Quarry Bay opened in 1979.Sites include:...



Kowloon
New Kowloon
New Kowloon is an area in Kowloon, Hong Kong, bounded in the south by Boundary Street, and in the north by the ranges of the Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Tate's Cairn and Kowloon Peak...

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  • Kam Shan Country Park
    Kam Shan Country Park
    Kam Shan Country Park , established on 24 June 1977, is a country park located in the ranges north of Kowloon, Hong Kong. It covers an area of 3.37 km². Most of the area is covered by the Kowloon Group of Reservoirs. Inside the park, there are jogging trails, barbecue and picnic areas, which...



New Territories
New Territories
New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong, alongside Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. It makes up 86.2% of Hong Kong's territory. Historically, it is the region described in The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory...

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  • Clear Water Bay Country Park
    Clear Water Bay Country Park
    Clear Water Bay Country Park is rural park located in the New Territories of northern Hong Kong. The park is located near the beaches in Clear Water Bay...

  • Kiu Tsui Country Park
    Kiu Tsui Country Park
    Liu Tsui Country Park is a 1 km² country park in Sai Kung, Hong Kong. The park opened in 1979 with features like:*Hap Mun Bay*Liu Tsui BeachThe park has 8 outlying islands within its boundaries:* Kiu Tsui Chau...

  • Lam Tsuen Country Park
    Lam Tsuen Country Park
    Lam Tsuen Country Park is a 15.20 km² country park in the northern New Territories, in Hong Kong.It opened in 1979 and spans over parts of Tai Po, Fanling and Yuen Long...

  • Lion Rock Country Park
    Lion Rock Country Park
    Lion Rock Country Park is a country park, located in the New Territories, Hong Kong. It consists of approximately 5.57 km2 of land, including Lion Rock and Mong Fu Shek and their surrounding scenic hillsides, of which 3.48 km2 is forestry plantations.-Landmarks:The dominant topographical feature...

  • Ma On Shan Country Park
    Ma On Shan Country Park
    Some of Hong Kong's most dramatic scenery is to be found within the boundaries of the Ma On Shan Country Park . The park was established on April 27, 1979. Located in the central neck of the Sai Kung peninsula in the eastern New Territories, this covers 28.8 km2...

  • Pat Sin Leng Country Park
    Pat Sin Leng Country Park
    Pat Sin Leng Country Park is a country park in Hong Kong located in the Northeastern New Territories. Established 18 August 1978, the country park covers 3,125 hectares of natural terrain. It comprises the mountain range Pat Sin Leng and other spurs, including Wong Leng, Ping Fung Shan, Cloudy...

  • Plover Cove Country Park
    Plover Cove Country Park
    Plover Cove Country Park is a country park in Hong Kong located in the Northeastern New Territories. The original country park was established in 7 April 1978, covering 4,594 hectares of natural terrain in the administrative North District and Tai Po District...

  • Plover Cove (Extension) Country Park
  • Sai Kung East Country Park
    Sai Kung East Country Park
    Sai Kung East Country Park is a 44.77 km² country park in Sai Kung Peninsula in Hong Kong. It opened in 1978 with features like:* High Island Reservoir* High Island* Tai Long Wan* Pak Tam Au* Sheung Yiu* Wong Shek Pier...

  • Sai Kung West Country Park
    Sai Kung West Country Park
    Sai Kung West Country Park is 30 square kilometre country park in Sai Kung Peninsula in northeast Hong Kong. Opened in 1978 the park's sights include:* Wong Chuk Wan* Tai Mong Tsai* Hoi Ha Marine Park* Lai Chi Chong-References:*...

  • Sai Kung West Country Park (Wan Tsai Extension)
  • Shing Mun Country Park
    Shing Mun Country Park
    The Shing Mun Country Park is a country park of Hong Kong, hugging the Shing Mun Reservoir.-Location:Located in the central New Territories, it covers a total of 14 km²...

  • Tai Lam Country Park
    Tai Lam Country Park
    Tai Lam Country Park , established on 23 February 1979, is a country park located in the Tai Lam, at the south of Yuen Long and east of Tuen Mun, in the western New Territories of Hong Kong. This country park has an area of 54 km².-Highlights:...

  • Tai Mo Shan Country Park
  • Tai Po Kau Special Area
    Tai Po Kau Special Area
    Tai Po Kau Special Area is a wilderness preserve in Tai Po area of the New Territories in northern Hong Kong. It is noted by the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society and others as one of the best locations for seeing forest birds in Hong Kong....

  • Tung Lung Fort Special Area
  • Tsiu Hang Special Area
  • Ma Shi Chau Special Area
    Ma Shi Chau Special Area
    Ma Shi Chau Special Area is a Special Area of Hong Kong. It is located in Tai Po District and in Tolo Harbour, in the northeast of the New Territories....

  • Lai Chi Wo Special Area
  • Hong Kong Wetland Park
    Hong Kong Wetland Park
    Hong Kong Wetland Park is a conservation, education and tourism facility, located at the northern part of Tin Shui Wai, in Yuen Long. It was to be an ecological mitigation area for the wetlands lost due to Tin Shui Wai New Town development....



Lantau Island
Lantau Island
Lantau Island , based on the old local name of Lantau Peak , is the largest island in Hong Kong, located at the mouth of the Pearl River. Administratively, most of Lantau Island is part of the Islands District of Hong Kong...

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  • Lantau North Country Park
    Lantau North Country Park
    Lantau North Country Park is one of two rural parks on Lantau Island and is located on the north side of the island. The 22 square kilometre park was designated in 1978.Highlights of the park include:* Wong Lung Hang Country Trail...

  • Lantau North (Extension) Country Park
  • Lantau South Country Park
    Lantau South Country Park
    Lantau South Country Park is one of two rural parks on Lantau Island, the other one being Lantau North Country Park and its extension.Lantau South Country Park is located on the south side of the island. It was designated in 1978...


See also

  • Geography of Hong Kong
    Geography of Hong Kong
    The geography of Hong Kong primarily consists of three main territories: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories.The name "Hong Kong", literally meaning "fragrant harbour", is derived from the area around present-day Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island, where fragrant wood products...

  • List of bays in Hong Kong
  • List of harbours in Hong Kong
  • List of rivers in Hong Kong
  • List of mountains, peaks and hills in Hong Kong
  • Environment of Hong Kong
  • Species first discovered in Hong Kong
    Species first discovered in Hong Kong
    This list contains species first discovered in Hong Kong, with the endemic species asterisked.-Plants:*Bauhinia *Crapnell's Camellia*Grantham's Camellia...

  • Beaches of Hong Kong
    Beaches of Hong Kong
    Hong Kong has a long coastline that is full of twists and turns with many bays and beaches. Many of them are well sheltered by mountains nearby, as Hong Kong is a mountainous place...

  • List of urban public parks and gardens in Hong Kong
  • List of areas of Hong Kong
  • List of buildings and structures in Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong National Geopark
    Hong Kong National Geopark
    Hong Kong Global Geopark of China , formerly Hong Kong National Geopark , was inaugurated on November 3, 2009. It covers an area of 50 km2 across parts of the Eastern and Northeastern New Territories. It includes eight sites...

  • List of national parks around the world
  • List of long-distance footpaths
  • List of long-distance footpaths: Hong Kong
  • River trekking
    River trekking
    River climbing, river trekking or mountain stream climbing is a form of hiking or outdoor adventure activity, a traditional sport in Japan and popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and, in some ways, similar to canyoning or canyoneering. River trekking is a combination of trekking and climbing and...

  • Geology of Hong Kong
    Geology of Hong Kong
    The geology of Hong Kong is dominated by Mesozoic volanic and granitic rocks, which together make up about 85% of the total land area. The remaining area is underlain by Palaeozoic meta-sedimentary rocks, Mesozoic to Cenozoic sedimentary rocks and superficial deposits.-External links:***...

  • Heritage conservation in Hong Kong
    Heritage conservation in Hong Kong
    This article details the history and status of Heritage conservation in Hong Kong, as well as the role of various stakeholders.An indication of the size of the built heritage in Hong Kong is given by a territory-wide survey conducted by the Antiquities and Monuments Office between 1996 and 2000,...

  • Hong Kong Map- Hong Kong Country Parks Attractions Informations and Photos

External links