Waterbird migration is not only an incredible wildlife phenomenon but an essential ecological process vital to the long-term survival of this group of birds. Understanding this complex process is a challenging task for conservation scientists whom employ a number of techniques to track and re-sight waterbirds as they move between breeding and wintering grounds.
In Hong Kong, the Mai Po Nature Reserve is a station for locally-based researchers to conduct studies on migratory waterbirds that use the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Collectively these studies contribute to the formulation of a flyway-wide conservation strategy.
Duck Satellite Tracking
Funded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Satellite Tracking Project is a collaborative effort to study wild duck migration from Hong Kong, and gain insight into the ecology and epidemiology of avian diseases.
Freshwater ponds near the Mai Po Education Centre attract ducks by the hundreds. The fitting of some with satellite transmitters allows their journeys to be tracked over thousands of kilometres.
to read about the project
to view the current locations and migration paths of the tagged ducks. You can view the tracking by installing Google Earth
on your home computer.
WWF-Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bird Ringing Group have collaborated for over 30 years to carry out migratory shorebird ringing at the Mai Po Nature Reserve. Most studies involve the fitting of leg-markers onto shorebirds so that their migration can be monitored upon recapture or re-sighting.
Since the adoption of combination colour leg-flags in 2001, more than 1,000 shorebirds have been marked with the Hong Kong combination colours and re-sightings of Hong Kong shorebirds are received annually from other countries.
to read more.