Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 14:
The Environment
Administrative Framework
Pollution Prevention
Cross-boundary Cooperation
Legislation and Pollution Control
Air Pollution
Indoor Air Quality
Water Quality and Sewerage
Waste Management
Government Laboratory
Terrestrial Fauna
Marine Fauna
Legislation and Nature Conservation
Protected Areas
Topography and Geology
Hydrography and Oceanography
Meteorological Services
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Terrestrial Fauna

Hong Kong's climate and physical environment provide a wide range of habitats and support a rich and varied fauna. These include about 465 species of birds, 56 species of mammals, over 100 species of amphibians and reptiles, 230 species of butterflies and 110 species of dragonflies.

The Mai Po Marshes form one of the most important wildlife conservation sites in Hong Kong. Together with the Inner Deep Bay area, the Mai Po Marshes area has been listed as a 'Wetland of International Importance' under the Ramsar Convention. About 1 500 hectares of mudflats, fish ponds, marshes, reedbeds and dwarf mangroves provide a rich habitat for migratory and resident birds, particularly ducks and waders. Some 300 species of birds have been observed in this area, many of which are considered globally threatened and endangered, such as the black-faced spoonbill, oriental stork, Nordmann's greenshank and Saunders's gull. The AFCD implements a wetland conservation and management plan to conserve the ecological value of the area.

The traditional fung shui woods near old villages and temples and the secondary forests provide important habitats for many woodland birds. Sightings in wooded areas include warblers, flycatchers, robins, bulbuls and tits.

Areas around the Kowloon reservoirs are inhabited by monkeys descended from individuals which were released or which escaped from captivity. There are breeding groups of rhesus macaques and a few long-tailed macaques, and their hybrids. Feeding of monkeys has been prohibited since July 1999 to prevent unnatural growth of the population. Other mammals like red muntjacs, leopard cats, East Asian porcupines, Chinese ferret badgers, masked palm civets, small Indian civets, Eurasian wild pigs are quite common in the countryside. Bats like Himalayan leaf-nosed bats, pomona leaf-nosed bats and Chinese horseshoe bats are found in caves and water tunnels. Sightings of less common species such as Eurasian otters, small Asian mongooses and Chinese pangolins are occasionally reported.

Hong Kong has over 100 species of amphibians and reptiles. There are 24 species of amphibians and three of them — the Hong Kong cascade frog, the Hong Kong newt and the endemic Romer's tree frog — are protected by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance. Most of the 52 species of snakes are harmless, and reports of people being bitten by highly venomous snakes are very rare. Among the 10 native species of chelonians, the green turtle is of particular interest as it is the only known species of sea turtle breeding locally.

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