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Waterbird & Flyway Conservation
© WWF-Hong Kong

Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay lie at the heart of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF), which extends 13,000 km from the Arctic Circle through East and Southeast Asia to Australia and New Zealand. The EAAF is home to more than 50 million migratory waterbirds from over 250 different populations. Each year these birds fly between their breeding and wintering grounds, and rely on a network of wetland way stations to rest and feed before embarking on the next leg of their journey.

The population of waterbirds in the EAAF is in rapid decline due to loss of wetland habitats to development, pollution and hunting. To restore and maintain the ecological integrity of the EAAF, WWF has set up several projects and are collaborating with other organisations as a member of the EAAF Partnership.

As one of the nine global flyways, the East Asian-Australasian Flyway is crucial to the 50 million migratory waterbirds that travel through each year.

© Leung Wai Ki / WWF-Hong Kong

More than 80 per cent of East and Southeast Asia’s wetlands are classified as threatened from being converted, fragmented and degraded by anthropogenic drivers of environmental change.

They have resulted in population declines in 88 per cent of waterbird species in the EAAF, with some rates of decline being among the highest reported for any suite of species in any ecosystem. The challenge therefore is to identify and conserve a network of wetlands along the EAAF that will serve as stepping-stone corridors to sustain and maintain the ecological functionality of the flyway, and of Mai Po.

WWF-Hong Kong will provide technical capacity to identify flyways networks, facilitate its process, and train wetland managers to manage the wetlands.

Our active involvement in the Asian Flyways Initiative will enable Hong Kong to influence and contribute significantly to flyway conservation, and by extension, to Mai Po.