Conservation of 2 endangered species in Hong Kong

Conservation of 2 endangered species in Hong Kong

Conservation of 2 endangered species in Hong Kong Chinese White Dolphin Black-faced spoonbill Adult female dolphins are usually pink while adult males may retain some grey spots. Conservation of Chinese White Dolphin

The Chinese White Dolphin is protected under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170) and the Animal and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance (Cap. 187). The Chinese White Dolphin is given the highest level of protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I. The possible threats to the dolphins in Hong Kong waters are:

* Habitat Loss and Disturbance * Pollution * Incidental Entanglement in Fishing Gear * Vessel Collision * Depletion of Food Resources Conservation of Chinese White Dolphin Since November 1996, 1200 hectares of sea area has been designated around Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau as a Marine Park in accordance with the Marine Parks

Ordinance (Cap. 476). The aims of the Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park are as follows: protect and manage the marine environment and resources of the area; control activities, where necessary and practical, for conservation of the Chinese White Dolphin; The Marine Parks Ordinance (Cap. 476) was enacted in 1995. The Ordinance provides for the designation, control and management of marine parks and marine reserve. The Marine Parks and Marine Reserves Regulation (Cap 476 sub. leg.)

was enacted in July 1996 The Regulation prohibits the following activities in a marine park: Unauthorized fishing, hunting and collecting animals and plants Damage of any shoreline feature located on a beach, mudflat, cliff or seabed Damage of notices, markers or other installation used by the Authority Possession of spear gun, explosives, chemicals or electric device for fishing purposes Obstruction of waterways, polluting water body or littering Water skiing, jet skiing or water scootering Fish culture

Unauthorized commercial activities, group activities, mooring and anchoring Disturbance of the eggs, juvenile or the nesting sites of any protected marine species Contravention may lead to a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for one year. The Country and Marine Parks Authority may, at its discretion, issue permits to conduct controlled activities such as fishing by bona fide fishermen or villagers, meetings, group activities, sport competitions and commercial activities.

Are the dolphins protected in Hong Kong? All marine mammals found in Hong Kong are protected locally by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170). Import, export and possession of those animals are also restricted under the Animal and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance (Cap. 187). Besides, Chinese White Dolphin is listed as "Insufficiently Known" in the IUCN Red Data Book, and is listed in CITES Appendix I (i.e. highest protection). In China, it is listed as a "Grade 1 National Key Protected Species". So as to improve the seawater quality, the government is building

some new disposal systems, and upgrading the existing sewage treatment facilities . Artificial reefs were deployed in marine parks and other sites in order to rebuild the local fish stock and therefore enhance the availability of the dolphins preys. We are also formulating a fisheries resources conservation and management plan to rectify the over-exploitation situation and to promote the sustainable development of the fishing industry. A comprehensive conservation programme for the Chinese White Dolphin has been prepared. It specifies the conservation actions that are needed to maintain the long-term viability of the dolphins that use Hong Kong waters.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department organises various kinds of educational activities every year. such as dolphin watch and beach clean-up activities in Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park, for schools and non-profit organizations. Always look from a distance, don't seek to contact, touch, feed or harm dolphins in the wild. When observing dolphins, always parallel the dolphin's course at slow speed.

Never approach dolphins head on; approach at an angle. Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minr ) a long-legged water bird, is found only in East Asia, from North Korea to Vietnam. This migratory bird usually visits Hong Kong between October and April. There are only 1,069 Black-faced Spoonbills in the world,

eat a variety of seafood including shrimps, crabs, snails and fish. Conservation of Black-faced Spoonbill The World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong tidies up the reeds in the geiwais in Mai Po, adjusts their water level, and changes their water frequently to provide a suitable feeding environment for the bird. Ramsar Convention (Convention on Wetlands) It is an intergovernmental treaty. Its official name is "The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat" adopted on 2 February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site is

one of the 7 sites of China included in "the List of Wetlands of International Importance". The People's Republic of China is a contracting party to the Convention, and about 1,500 ha of wetland in the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay was listed as a Ramsar Site in 4 September 1995. The area is the largest wetland in Hong Kong. The wetland acts as a refueling station and wintering site for thousands of migratory birds during their migrations between the Arctic Russia and Australia. The total migratory birds using the area may be over 120,000. Some of them are globally threatened species such as Black-faced Spoonbill, Saunders' Gull, Baikal Teal, Baer's Pochard and Dalmatian Pelican. The site is also of

special value for its large mangrove stands and reed beds. Enforcement To better conserve the Ramsar site and protect the wildlife inside, the Mai Po Marshes and the adjacent mudflats are listed in Schedule 6 of the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance and access to the area is restricted. Nature Wardens of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department are on high vigilance in patrolling the Ramsar Site for detecting illegal activities including entry without a permit from the authority. A high-speed hovercraft, the 'Mudsurfer', has launched in assisting the patrol in the mudflats The date of February 2 is the anniversary of the signing of

the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in Ramsar, Iran in 1971 (commonly known as the Ramsar Convention). The Ramsar Bureau has designated Feburary 2 as the World Wetlands Day. A number of activities are being organized worldwide in celebration of the day and to publicize the important values of wetlands. Visiting Mai Po Marshes Restricted AreaExperienced bird watchers, conservationist and academic researchers who would like to enter the Restricted Area with a purpose in line with conservation of the Ramsar Site may apply to the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation for a special permit to enter the Mai Po Marshes Restricted Area. The World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong (WWF-HK) works

closely with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department in management of the Mai Po Marshes. School parties or members of the public may join the guided tours organized by WWF-HK with prior booking. Restricted Area without a special permit issued by the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, is liable to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 on conviction END

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