WWF Hong Kong - Mai Po Wildlife

Mai Po Wildlife

As a Nature Reserve, Mai Po is well known for supporting large numbers of migratory waterbirds every year, particularly in mid-winter when around 60,000 are present in Deep Bay. However, the Reserve is also home to an amazing diversity of other wildlife, offering spectacles in all seasons of the year.
 / ©: Walter Poon / WWF - Hong Kong
Dragonflies start emergence in spring and can been seen around freshwater ponds.
© Walter Poon / WWF - Hong Kong
Springtime is the season when Mai Po’s flora comes alive. Trees and shrubs along the gei wai bunds and footpaths start to bud and produce new leaves bringing a vibrant green colour to the landscape. Damselfly and dragonfly start emerging from the freshwater ponds leaving their larval skeletons (exuviae) scattered on pond-side vegetation. In late-March thousands of migratory shorebirds can be seen on the intertidal mudflats and shallow water gei wai, as they 'fuel up' before continuing their journey north towards their breeding grounds.
 / ©: Patrick Ho / WWF - Hong Kong
Summer evening is the best time to hear Frogs call.
© Patrick Ho / WWF - Hong Kong
Though summer is a rather quiet season for migratory birds, it is the breeding season for many resident species. Some of these birds undergo spectacular molting from a dull winter plumage to a colourful breeding plumage and can be seen 'displaying' to attract partners. In mid-summer, young offspring leave their nests and can be seen foraging under the protection and guidance of their parents. Summer evenings in July and August are the best times to hear the call of insects and frogs, especially after periods of rain, and also for a chance to encounter with snakes along footpaths.
 / ©: Neil Fifer / WWF - Hong Kong
Shorebirds stop-by and fuel up at Mai Po during their journey to the South in Autumn.
© Neil Fifer / WWF - Hong Kong
Autumn sees the return of migratory shorebirds as they fly southward to traditional wintering grounds in South-East Asia or as far as Australasia. The often elusive larger mammals, such as Mongooses and Leopard Cat, are more frequently encountered in autumn as juveniles start exploring the surrounding environment.
 / ©: Loretta Luk / WWF - Hong Kong
Mai Po Wildlife
© Loretta Luk / WWF - Hong Kong
Mid-winter is by far the best season to watch waterbirds at Mai Po and Deep Bay, both for numbers and species diversity. The Mai Po gei wai, freshwater ponds and bund trees are favoured roost areas for thousands of duck, shorebirds and cormorants. Whilst cormorants transform trees into 'white christmas trees', the extensive stands of reed turn golden, creating a true winter feeling across the landscape.