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© WWF-Hong Kong
Endless Possibilities@Mai Po

Walk For Nature 5-6 Nov 2022


In 2021, “Walk For Nature” encouraged everyone to slow down our fast-paced urban lifestyles by exploring Mai Po’s beautiful wetlands. Building on that sentiment, this year’s Walk For Nature will explore the mystery and magic of the science behind Mai Po’s wetland ecology, revealing the secrets of this natural wonder.

Inhabited by huge numbers of birds and other types of wildlife, Mai Po Nature Reserve has some of the richest biodiversity in Hong Kong. There are six distinct habitat types – gei wai (traditional shrimp ponds), freshwater ponds, intertidal mudflats, mangroves, reedbeds, and fishponds. These wetland habitats host a myriad of creatures and provide important ecosystem services to humans: Look at how mangroves protect coastal areas from storm surges during typhoons, for example.

This year’s “Walk for Nature” will introduce you to the remarkable cast of unique wildlife characters at Mai Po. With the theme “Endless Possibilities @ Mai Po”, We will show you how we captured photos of the elusive Eurasian otter with our camera traps, explain how buffaloes create open freshwater marshes, and uncover many other marvels. Through science, research and monitoring, we reveal the complex and enduring relationships between these wetlands, their species and human beings, and demonstrate how new technologies create new knowledge and open up new possibilities. Through these activities, we hope to show you the endless possibilities that healthy, thriving biodiversity creates for wildlife and human beings, and shed light on how places with rich biodiversity benefit people for a liveable environment.

As always, the funds raised from Walk for Nature will go towards promoting WWF’s education and conservation programs.

 
Times: 9:00-17:00 (The last shuttle bus from Yuen Long MTR Station leaves at 13:00)
 
Regular ticket price (HKD) Junior ticket price (HKD) 
(ages 5-17)
Senior ticket price (HKD) (Age: 65+)
(Must provide senior citizen card)
$550 $450 $450
 
Combined price: 
 
Combination type Total price (HKD)
Four-person discount (four adults) $2,000.00
Family package discount (two adults and one child) $1,395.00
Family fun package (two adults and two children) $1,800.00
   

Research and Monitoring

Overview  
WWF-Hong Kong’s Mai Po Nature Reserve Research and Monitoring team (the R&M team) is committed to taking a scientific approach to conservation and management practices. The team’s goal is to develop the Reserve into the premier local and regional hub for wetland ecology and conservation research. They achieve this by:
  • Conducting long-term monitoring programmes for conservation targets and other environmental indicators in the Reserve like shorebirds, Ardeids (Egrets) and the Hong Kong Bent-winged firefly
  • Conducting research that will help improve habitat management and species conservation in the Reserve and the wider Deep Bay area
  • Exploring cutting-edge tools and technologies for wetland conservation
  • Collaborating with researchers and wetland managers from around the region and overseas
 

Routine monitoring programmes

We regularly run over 15 monitoring activities for conservation targets and the environment, the results of which inform the team’s habitat management strategies and tactics. They cover such important species and indicators as:
  • Black-faced spoonbills
  • Anatidae (Ducks)
  • Shorebirds
  • Ardeid (Egrets)
  • Reedbed-dependent birds
  • Collared crows
  • Hong Kong Bent-winged firefly
  • Odonata (Dragonflies and damselflies)
  • Water quality
 

Habitat management and species conservation research

The R&M team is conducting or has already completed research on numerous topics. Two of the most recent are:
  • Conservation of the Eurasian Otter (in progress). Otters are a primary conservation target and a wetland conservation flagship. The team conducts regular camera trap and sign surveys to map their distribution and estimate their population in the Reserve and the surrounding area.
  • Freshwater habitat enhancement through buffalo grazing (completed). The research results show that water buffaloes effectively control the height of vegetation and maintain a wet, marshy habitat that supports a greater diversity of wildlife.
 

Using advanced tools and technologies for wetland conservation

To enhance both the collection and accuracy of data, the R&M team is exploring using such advanced tools and technologies as:
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles to obtain aerial photos that monitor habitats
  • Satellite tracking to study the migration routes of migratory birds and identify critical sites for protection
  • Internet of Things devices to improve the efficiency and accuracy of environmental monitoring, such as real-time water level sensors
  • Artificial intelligence to facilitate automatic animal detection and identification
 

Collaborations with researchers and wetland managers

The team actively engages and collaborates with researchers and wetland managers to advance scientific knowledge about the conservation of Mai Po, Deep Bay and other regional wetlands. Over 30 external or collaborative research projects related to the ecology, management and conservation of wetlands in Mai Po and Deep Bay are facilitated by the R&M team each year.

Boardwalk Tour / The Hidden Treasures of Southern MPNR

You will have the option to uncover even more secrets about Mai Po, through our Mangrove Boardwalk Tour and the Hidden Treasures of Southern MPNR .

On the Mangrove Boardwalk Tour, accompanied by a professional eco-guide, you will walk through a magnificent mangrove forest, enjoy beautiful views over Inner Deep Bay from a floating bird hide and catch unique glimpses of a complex, thriving mudflat ecology.

The Hidden Treasures of Southern MPNR is a new guided tour for 2022 that explores several fabled wetland sights. You’ll learn how we bring buffaloes to Pond 24 and how these marvellous animals change the pond’s habitat. You’ll also hear fascinating stories about how the Mai Po Conservation team carries out its research and monitoring work.

 

Eurasian Otters Colouring Competition

Eurasian otters are mainly nocturnal. Their mysterious and almost invisible night-time activities make them very difficult to track. In fact, most people don’t even know that Eurasian otters live in Hong Kong. This year’s W4N invites visitors to take part in a Eurasian otter colouring competition. After the event, every entry will be uploaded to the Internet and a public vote will determine the winners, all of whom will receive a gift. Bring your inventive mind and nature-loving heart and help raise people’s awareness of otters!