WWF Hong Kong - Discovering Biodiversity in Hong Kong Wetlands

Discovering Biodiversity in Hong Kong Wetlands

Some years ago, the United Nations declared 2011-2020 as the “Decade of Biodiversity”, encouraging governments around the world to establish, implement and promote their own biodiversity strategies and action plans. Responding to this call, the Hong Kong government formed a steering committee to develop the city’s first Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP), with the aim of examining the existing state of biodiversity in Hong Kong and the corresponding conservation actions which needed to be taken.
 / ©: WWF-Hong Kong / Leung Wai Ki
In wetland ecosystem, crabs play an important role in the nutrients cycle. In this project, WWF will investigate the species diversity and distribution of crab. Parasesarma affinis is one of the most common sesarmine crab species in Mai Po.
© WWF-Hong Kong / Leung Wai Ki

Biodiversity of Mai Po

For a relatively small city Hong Kong has an incredibly rich biodiversity, especially in our wetlands. One example is the one-of-a-kind Mai Po Nature Reserve. Under the management of WWF-Hong Kong, the Reserve has become an iconic wetland for Hong Kong and South China – providing food and habitat for 60,000 individual birds from over 400 species every year. Alongside the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay Ramsar site, the Reserve is home to various types of local wildlife including aquatic fauna, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish and mammals.
 / ©: WWF-Hong Kong
Under this project, WWF will install infrared cameras across the reserve to find out mammal species and their distribution. Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is one of the frequently captured mammal species in the cameras.
© WWF-Hong Kong
 / ©: WWF-Hong Kong
This project will also focus on the less known taxa such as spider. Orb-web spider (Gasteracantha kuhlii) is one of the common spider species in Mai Po.
© WWF-Hong Kong

Project details

 / ©: WWF-Hong Kong
WWF invited students and teachers from 2 local secondary schools to participate in the surveys. Students are conducting aquatic fauna survey at Mai Po Nature Reserve.
© WWF-Hong Kong
Thanks to a generous donation by HSBC, starting from March 2015, WWF-Hong Kong will conduct a two-year project called “Discovering Biodiversity in Hong Kong Wetlands”, with the following goals:

1. To establish historical trends and foster local and regional involvement by collating existing biological information from Mai Po Nature Reserve and its nearby environs;
2. To gather the most up-to-date biological information from the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay Ramsar site through in-depth biological field surveys;
3. To engage “citizen scientists” and enhance the biodiversity knowledge of the general public and secondary school and university students through participation in these biological surveys;
4. To share wetland conservation knowledge and ideas by publishing related education materials and organizing wetland-themed symposiums.

The findings of these surveys will be extremely important to WWF’s management work at Mai Po Nature Reserve. At the same time, these findings will serve as a valuable reference point for the government’s BSAP. Perhaps most significantly, students and the public will have the chance to witness Hong Kong’s biodiversity first hand and participate in professional scientific research by joining us as citizen scientists. 
 / ©: WWF-Hong Kong
WWF uses traditional harvesting way in Gei Wais to collect specimen in aquatic fauna survey. Tilapia is found to be the abundant species in Gei Wais.
© WWF-Hong Kong
Supporting Organization