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(The photo is provided by Information Services Department) The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department and Ocean Park Hong Kong released seven endangered green turtles in the southern waters of Hong Kong. The turtles were accommodated temporarily at Ocean Park and were assessed by veterinarians. which are in good condition and ready to return to sea. Each turtle was tagged with a microchip and Inconel tags for future identification before they were released. A satellite transmitter was also attached to the carapace of each turtle. The department can collect data to formulate conservation measures by tracking the movement and feeding grounds of green turtles. Green turtles are the only species of sea turtle known to nest locally. All wild turtles, including sea turtles, in Hong Kong, are protected by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap 170). People who hunt, disturb, possess, sell or export sea turtles, including their nests and eggs, except in accordance with a special permit, will be liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year. Additionally, all sea turtle species are listed in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora and regulated under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals & Plants Ordinance (Cap 586). The import, export, re-export or possession of specimens of endangered species not in accordance with the ordinance is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $10 million and 10 years in jail. People are urged to report any sighting of sea turtles or suspicious activities involving the marine animal to the department by calling 1823.
Some people enjoy feeding monkeys, some worry that the monkeys are starving in the wild and they want to help them by feeding. However, they are not aware of its negative consequences to both monkeys and people, such as: - Becoming dependent on humans for food and lost their foraging instincts;- Becoming overpopulated, causing the ecosystem unbalanced;- Losing natural fear to humans, even snatching plastic bags or food held by people; and- Causing nuisance to the residents in the nearby areas. Statutory ProtectionMonkeys are protected wild animals in Hong Kong. Under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170), except in accordance with a special permit, no person shall hunt, willfully disturb, sell or in his possession of any protected wild animals taken from Hong Kong. Upon conviction, the maximum penalty is a fine of HK$100,000 and imprisonment for one year. Kam Shan, Lion Rock and Shing Mun Country Parks, part of Tai Mo Shan Country Park, Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, a section of Tai Po Road parallel to Caldecott Road and Piper's Hill section of Tai Po Road are specified places under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170) at which the feeding of any wild animals are prohibited. The implementation of feeding ban is intended to reduce the monkeys' reliance on human feeding, and to make the monkeys revert to foraging in the countryside on their own. Anyone contravening the feeding restriction is liable to a maximum fine of HK$10,000 upon conviction. The AFCD arranges regular patrol at the feeding ban area, and will take immediate prosecution actions against anyone who has fed monkeys or other wild animals. Monkey Contraceptive ProgrammeSince 2007, AFCD has regularly arranged monkey contraceptive operations for monkeys in Kam Shan, Lion Rock and Shing Mun Country Parks. AFCD also monitors the changes in monkey populations so as to control their number in the long run. According to the population monitoring, the birth rate of monkeys in Kam Shan, Lion Rock and Shing Mun Country Parks has noticeably decreased from about 78% in 2008 to about 35% in recent years. The total number of monkeys has dropped by more than 23% from 2008 to 2016, and has maintained at about 1,650 from 2014 to 2016. AFCD continues to monitor the changes of monkey populations and perform neutering treatments for more monkeys.
Barbecue sites and campsites to be reopened163 barbecue sites and 41 campsites under the management of the AFCD will reopen on May 21 (except for the Lead Mine Pass Campsite which is undergoing maintenance). For the latest updates on the facilities in the country parks, members of the public can also visit the "Enjoy Hiking" website of the AFCD. Re-opening of Country Park Visitor / Education CentresThe school and public programmes of the AFCD's public facilities that have reopened on May 4, including the Hong Kong Wetland Park (except some indoor facilities and play areas), eight Country Park Visitor/Education Centres, seven Hong Kong Geopark Park Visitor Centres and the Endangered Species Resource Centre, will remain temporarily suspended until further notice. Precautionary measures are implemented, including body temperature check at centre entrances and advising visitors with high body temperature not to enter, and access control to avoid overcrowding. The AFCD appeals to country park users to comply with the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) on prohibiting group gatherings of more than the number of people stipulated in the law. Visitors are reminded to maintain personal and environmental hygiene, appropriate social distancing, and should properly dispose of used masks and waste.
Yes, we may now be down at the bottom of the valley. However, if we slowly make our ascent, one step at a time, we can reach the peak. And from up there, we will re-discover Hong Kong, in all its glory and splendour.According to Country Parks Ranger Chan Lok-sum, there has been a considerable jump in the number of hikers recently, all in search of more space and fresh air. Many however left behind them litter like used tissues and face masks. Ms Chan would love to see fewer litter bugs, if only hikers were more conscientious when disposing their own litter.Probably due to the SARS experience, people in Hong Kong are very disciplined in maintaining personal hygiene. Wearing masks is a norm, so is sharing hygiene essentials with friends in need. Such mutual help and care make Hong Kong a beautiful place to live in.
In this video, Park Wardens To Wai-yin and Lau Chuen-ting share with the viewers their daily job duties which include patrolling the trails, inspecting facilities in the country parks, as well as searching and removing hunting devices to protect the animals. They are also responsible for maintaining roads and facilities in the parks and enforcing relevant legislation and instituting prosecutions. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page
Tam Kin-chung joined the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department in 2012 and is an ecological surveyor in its Butterfly Working Group. The Field Officer is an expert on the winged insects and is well-versed in their behaviour. “The male butterflies usually put in a lot of effort to attract females. They try to find a plant with some special chemicals to convert them into pheromones to attract female butterflies. “And some other butterflies, the male butterfly, will go to a hilltop. Such behaviour, we call that hill-topping. They go there to wait for a female butterfly to fly across so that they can have the courtship behaviour with them.” Survival skills The intricately detailed Tawny Mime is adept at imitating the appearance of the poisonous Chestnut Tiger to ward off predators, Mr Tam said. “They have a black forewing and a brown hindwing with some pale blue colour, colour stripes on their wings. “It is quite a beautiful butterfly but if you want to find one, it is quite difficult because the adults of Tawny Mime only appear in March and April every year. If you miss it, you will need to wait for another year to see this rare butterfly.” Mr Tam traverses the city to collect information on butterflies and finds it meaningful to help broaden people’s knowledge about the beautiful insects and to share the importance of environmental conservation. “Butterfly survey and investigation is very important to the public because butterflies are a part of our ecosystem. “When there are more butterflies, it means that there are more flowers and the vegetation should be quite good in the surrounding environment. They can support the butterflies, so that they come by. “It is very important for us to protect our environment so that more butterflies and animals can live there.” (For more details, please visit News.gov.hk Website)
Sai Kung has always been a hot spot for the public to stargaze. The Government has constructed a stargazing facility on an abandoned campsite located between Sai Wan and Ham Tin Wan in Sai Kung for visitors to enjoy stargazing by lying down leisurely and comfortably. (Other Astronomical Observation Hot Spots/Weather Information) The stargazing facility is situated on a small knoll. Walking along the MacLehose Trail Section 2 from Sai Wan Beach uphill for about 10 minutes, you will see the “Sai Wan Stargazing Site” sign. Reconstructed from a campsite The newly constructed stargazing facility is a curved ring-form bench composed of glass reinforced resin panels, which are hard, durable and suitable for outdoor use. The bench, which is built with great respect for the surrounding tree line, beautifully blends the streamlined design into nature. Architect of the ArchSD, Mr LO Yee-cheung, Adrian, says the location was originally an abandoned campsite with a piece of spacious flat land. The reconstruction works did not involve tree felling, which minimised ecological and visual impacts. The bench with ergonomic design Adrian shares that the AFCD, Hong Kong Space Museum and ArchSD joined hands to explore the design of the stargazing facility and the construction commenced in October 2018. The most prominent feature of the project is the curved ring-form bench which allows 360-degree stargazing. People can view the starry sky no matter where they sit. The bench is ergonomically-designed so that people can enjoy stargazing by sitting in the most comfortable position at 135 degrees, which is more comfortable than lying on the ground. With its light timber colour as well as reflective coating on its top and bottom tips, the bench enables visitors to see it clearly even without artificial illumination so as to ensure safety. Adopting green and environmentally-friendly design Moreover, the central part of the stargazing facility is a hard-paved flat area for stargazers to set up their tripods and telescopes. Metal coordinate indicators are embedded in the ground to facilitate visitors to orient themselves and to appreciate the starry sky in different directions. Meanwhile, the project has adopted green and environmentally-friendly design to conserve the natural environment of the countryside. For example, pebbles are placed under the back of the bench to facilitate natural drainage without the need to lay any drains, and grasses fit for wild cows’ consumption are grown without the need to carry out grass cutting work manually or mechanically; as a result, symbiosis of human, nature and architecture can be achieved. (For more details, please click here to read the article in Development Bureau website)
Once you have decided to go camping, the first thing to do is to choose the site and to plan the duration of your stay, the equipment to take, and the amount of food that you will need, well in advance. The following guidelines may help.LocationCheck the location and site of the site and plan your route to it. The camp sites within the Country Parks are on a “first-come-first-served” basis, so during weekends and public holidays when many campers will be competing for limited facilities, you are advised to arrive at the camp sites early. Please remember that under the Country Park and Special Area Regulations, you are not allowed to camp other than in a designated camp site which can be identified by the sign boards erected by the Country and Marine Parks Authority.The rucksackYour rucksack should be spacious, of good shape and very strong. In packing a rucksack, you should remember the principle of last in last in first out, things like raincoat, windbreaker or poncho should be placed on the uppermost part. It is desirable to fill up all the empty spaces with plastic bags, newspaper or clothing.The centre of gravity should preferably be located near the top of the rucksack. All these will make it more comfortable for you to carry.The tentA good tent is one that is strong enough to protect you against the elements. It should have a waterproof ground sheet, mosquito netting and a flysheet.ClothingTake some spare clothing for wet or cold weather and some spare plastic bags to keep clothes dry.EquipmentBlanket/sleeping bags, cooking and eating utensils are basic items. Don’t forget to take a mini-sized radio with you, plus a whistle; a map (the countryside series are very useful); a torch and spare batteries (never use a gas lantern inside the tent); a sharp pocket knife; spare guy ropes and a first aid kit. Pitching the campLay out the tent with the rear fully to the direction of the wild. Use the strongest tent pegs for the main guys. Pegs should be pushed into the ground at 45o away from the tent and the guys made as long as possible. If the ground sheet is not sewn-in, it should be positioned entirely inside the tent so that water cannot run off the tent onto the ground sheet.CookingFire is a major hazard to both the tent and the countryside. When the red fire danger signal is in force use dry provisions and do not light any fire. Always cook outside the tent, in the fire places provided.HygieneBoil stream water drinking and make sure that the source from which the water is taken is clean. SecurityCamping in remote sites should be carried out in groups of not less than five persons. It is advisable to inform the nearest police station of your intention to camp and the location of camp site you plan to use.EmergenciesBe prepared for emergencies. You should know your area well and know the nearest police station. Always take a first aid kit with you and make sure that someone in your group knows how to use it and administer first aid.If any accident occurs, do not panic - stay together, keep calm, take stock of your situation and decide what to do. Cool heads and common sense will be your greatest assets.In the case of a serious injury, keep the patient comfortable, give first aid and only move him if it is essential. Send someone to the nearest point (the nearest telephone/ police station/country park management centre) for help. If your party is larger than four, send two people with a written message. It is important that the message is written because your messengers may arrive tired or exhausted and a verbal message will be garbled and unintelligible. The message must be written before the messengers leave and must contain full information such as the location, time, nature of the accident, the number of persons injured and weather conditions. Leave the SiteRemember to remove all pegs. Stones for securing the tent should also be removed.Refill any holes and extinguish all fires. Last but not least, remember to remove all rubbish. When you leave the campsite,apart from the marks of crushed grass where tents have been pitched, there should be no other signs that you have been there.Country CodeGet to know the Country Code, which tells you all you need to know about what you should and should not do in the countryside:Do not destroy by fire or vandalismDo not spoil with litter and dirtDo not pollute water catchment areas, streams or reservoirsDo not destroy vegetation and wildlife (For more details, please click here to read the Camping Guide provided by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)
Apart from being a Park Warden, Choi King-fung is also an enthusiastic photographer particularly good at shooting natural scenery and the flora and fauna. Watch the video now to learn the tips for taking good photographs in a country park as well as more about the work of a Park Warden. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page
Ten landscapes and Ten characters – the fantastic MacLehose Trail This year is the 40th anniversary of the MacLehose Trail. Rated by the National Geographic as one of the top 20 dream trails in the world, the MacLehose Trail definitely worth a visit, at least a section, by every Hong Konger.This 100-kilometre trail is divided into ten sections, traversing the New Territories from East to West through eight country parks namely Sai Kung East, Sai Kung West, Ma On Shan, Lion Rock, Kam Shan, Shing Mun, Tai Mo Shan and Tai Lam. If you have ever visited any of one section, you would probably find it amazing with There are coastline, mountains, valleys and reservoirs. The trail offers hikers beautiful countryside scenery in New Territories as well as overlooking view of the cityscape of the Kowloon Peninsula. This famous trail has been named as one of the world's 20 dream trails by the National Geographic.Each of the ten sections is quite unique indeed. If you have geared up but are yet to decide which section to start for your journey, watch the ten videos below produced by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department now for more details of the landscapes and characters of the MacLehose Trail! "MacLehose Trail Section 1: Extraordinary Craftsmanship" Pak Tam Chung to Long KeStarting Point: Pak Tam ChungFinishing Point: Long KeLength: 10.6 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 2: Boundless Nature" Long Ke to Pak Tam AuStarting Point: Long KeFinishing Point: Pak Tam AuLength: 13.5 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 3: Unwind Yourself" Pak Tam Au to Kei Ling HaStarting Point: Pak Tam AuFinishing Point: Kei Ling HaLength: 10.2 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 4: Continous Challenges" Kei Ling Ha - Tate's CairnStarting Point: Kei Ling HaFinishing Point: Tate's CairnLength: 12.7 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 5: One Mountain One City" Tate's Cairn to Tai Po RoadStarting Point: Tate's CairnFinishing Point: Tai Po RoadLength: 10.6 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 6: Respect Nature" Tai Po Road to Shing MunStarting Point: Tai Po RoadFinishing Point: Shing Mun ReservoirLength: 4.6 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 7: Historical Traces" Shing Mun to Lead Mine PassStarting Point: Shing Mun ReservoirFinishing Point: Lead Mine PassLength: 6.2 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 8:Top of Hong Kong " Lead Mine Pass to Route TwiskStarting Point: Lead Mine PassFinishing Point: Route TwiskLength: 9.7 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 9: Enjoy the Serenity" Route Twisk to Tin Fu TsaiStarting Point: Route TwiskFinishing Point: Tin Fu TsaiLength: 6.3 kilometresClick here for detail map "MacLehose Trail Section 10: Picturesque Landscapes" Tin Fu Tsai to Tuen MunStarting Point: Tin Fu TsaiFinishing Point: Tuen MunLength: 15.6 kilometresClick here for detail map (Information provided by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)
Savouring Nature Up-close Everything about nature is grand and wondrous. The ecology of the city is vibrant and inspiring. Embark on a journey of ecological exploration and experience for yourself the many different aspects of nature and its irresistible pulse of life. Hong Kong Biodiversity Festival 2019 Hong Kong Biodiversity Festival 2019 provides 150 educational activities for you to savour nature up-close with Mr. B. The Biodiversity in Hong Kong PlantThe major vegetation of Hong Kong belongs to the evergreen broad-leaved forest of the subtropics. Many species typical of the Southeast Asian tropical flora are also seen here at the limit of their northern distribution range. About 3,300 species and varieties of vascular plants have been recorded in Hong Kong, around 2,100 of which are native.MammalAmong the 57 existing terrestrial mammalian species in Hong Kong, 27 species are bats and 30 species are non-flying mammals, such as Barking Deer, East-Asian Porcupine and Eurasian Otter. There are also two species of marine mammalian species, including Chinese white dolphin and finless porpoise.HerptileHong Kong has over 108 species of amphibians and reptiles, including snakes, frogs, chelonians, lizards and etc. Among all herptiles, there are endemic species "Bogadek's Burrowing Lizard" and species first recorded from Hong Kong, such as "Romer's Tree Frog".FishHong Kong has over 200 species of freshwater fish that inhabit most Hong Kong watercourses, from swift flowing hill streams to trickling lowland rivers and estuaries. There are almost 1,000 of marine fish species recorded.BirdAround 550 species of birds have been recorded in Hong Kong. Most of them are passage migrants in Spring and Autumn, and wintering visitors. Hong Kong has a variety of habitats which provide a rich supply of food and shelter for these birds.InsectHong Kong is rich in insect fauna. There are about 200 species of butterflies and over 100 species of dragonflies being recorded in the territory. Most of them are brilliantly coloured and they are the most attractive flying creatures other than birds. (Information provided by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)
Ap Chau Geosite Visitors can see extraordinary red breccia at Ap Chau which is rare in Hong Kong, and appreciate a diverse range of striking wave erosion landforms at close range, such as a sea cliff, wave-cut platform, wave-cut notch, sea arch and sea stack, plus the famous ‘Duck’s Eye’. Ap Chau once had a thriving fishing community but only a few villagers continue to live on the island today. Its rustic bucolic charm is still inviting. How to get there Take the ferry operating between Ma Liu Shui to Kat O and Ap Chau on Saturdays, Sundays and Public holidays or join a local tour.To take the ferry, visitors can travel by MTR East Rail and get off at the University Station, Exit B, then walk for about 15 minutes to Ma Liu Shui Landing No.3 for the ferry service to Kat O and Ap Chau. The normal boat traveling time is about 2 hours. Visitors are advised to take the *ferry schedule into consideration in planning the trip.Service days: Saturdays, Sundays and Public HolidaysFare: $90 return ticket / $50 for single trip from Kat O to Ma Liu Shui onlyBooking & enquiries: 2555 9269 (Best Sonic Industrial Limited)(subject to operator’s announcement) *Ferry Schedule Route of ferry Departure Arrival Depart from Ma Liu Shui to Kat O 8：30 am 1st stop at Kat O 10：00 am Depart from Kat O 10：15 am 2nd stop at Ap Chau 10：30 am Depart from Ap Chau 12：00 nn 3rd stop at Kat O 12：15 pm Depart from Kat O 15：30 pm Back to Ma Liu Shui 17：00 pm (Information provided by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)
Elaine has returned to Hong Kong after graduating from her veterinary studies in Australia. Not interested in private practice, she has joined the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and is determined to be a veterinary surgeon with a difference. She has been involved in enacting animal ordinances of great interest to Hong Kong, as well as quarantine work for the horses coming to Hong Kong for the Olympic equestrian events. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page
Does a science student always end up with a job in the lab? Lawrence Leung, a Fisheries Technical Officer II, tells us that, with his science background, he was assigned on the first day of his job to take diving lessons and come into direct contact with the undersea world. From one who did not know much about fish, to one who has fallen in love with the ocean, he can now distinguish between different kinds of sea creatures. Through this job, he has come to embrace marine life and enter the diverse world of fisheries. As a result, he has also developed a greater fondness for the earth. Organisation chartOfficial recruitment page