Shenzhen River catchment and Inner Deep Bay is an estuarine area comprising a variety of habitats, including freshwater wetland, marine-coastal (intertidal mudflats and mangroves) and man-made (aquaculture fish ponds, tidal shrimp ponds (gei wai) and oyster farms) habitats. The freshwater wetlands are situated at Mai Po and at a flood plain area at the southern side of Shenzhen River namely Long Valley, this is an area of actively managed agricultural land. The mudflats of inner Deep Bay are situated across the Shenzhen River, from Mai Po/Tsim Bei Tsui peninsula of Hong Kong side to Fu Tian of Shenzhen side. A thick belt of coastal mangroves encloses these sites. The inland area consists mainly of farmland, fishponds and tidal shrimp ponds. Surrounding and among these are construction sites, residential area and industrial area. On 4 September 1995, a 1,500 ha of wetlands on the Hong Kong side of the estuary area (Inner Deep Bay) was declared a Ramsar Site, including Mai Po Nature Reserve.Shenzhen River catchement and Inner Deep Bay lies in the northwestern part of the New Territories of Hong Kong. The names of the area includes (1) agricultural lands at Long Valley; (2) fishponds at Ma Tso Lung, Lok Ma Chau, San Tin, Lin Barn Tsuen, Mai Po, Pak Hok Chau, Lut Chau, Tai Sang Wai, Nam Sang Wai, Tin Shui Wai and Tsim Bei Tsui; (3) Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve; (4) Inner Deep Bay mangroves and inter-tidal mudflat; and (5) mudflat and oyster farm at Sheung Pak Lai
A. Other globally threaten species in Inner Deep Bay area:Baikal TealAnas formosaStable winter visitor, with 1-2 records every year. The high count is 3 birds in 1986 and 1993 (HKBWS 1961-1996).Bear's Pochard Aythya baeriUsually less than 10 were recordedbefore the early 1990s, with a high count of 30 birds on 10 January 1987. However, the number has declined in recent years, with only one or two every year (HKBWS 1972-1997). The recent were high count is of 2 individuals in January 1999 (HKBWS 1999).Relict Gull Larus relictusVagrant with two records involving 3 birds. 31 December 1987 and 1 January 1988 (HKBWS 1988); and 21 November 1992 to 8 March 1993 (HKBWS 1993).B. Other regionally important species in Inner Deep Bay areaChinese Pond HeronArdeola bacchusDuring the 1990s, the average peak winter period count was 327. This suggests that Deep Bay might hold 1% of the regional east/southeast Asian wintering population, which is estimated to be 25,000 to one million by Rose and Scott (1997) (Carey and Young 1999).Little Egret Egretta garzettaDuring the 1990s, there was an average peak winter count of 1478 in the Deep Bay area. Deep Bay may hold 1% of the regional east/southeast Asian wintering population which is estimated by Rose and Scott (1997) to be 100,000 to one million (Carey and Young 1999). Eurasian WigeonAnas penelopeWith a five-year mean of peak winter counts of 2420 birds in Deep Bay during the period 1993-94 to 1997-98 (Carey and Young 1999), Deep Bay may hold 0.32% of the regional population, estimated by Miyabayashi and Mundkur (1999) to lie in the range 500,000 to 1,000,000.Northern PintailAnas acutaThe five-year mean of peak winter counts in Deep Bay during the period 1993-94 to 1997-98 is 6562 (Carey and Young 1999). This is possibly 1% of the Eastern / Southeastern Asia wintering population, estimated by Miyabayashi and Mundkur (1999) to lie between 500,000 to 1,000,000.Common Teal Anas creccaWith a five-year mean of peak winter counts of 4005 birds in Deep Bay during the period 1993-94 to 1997-98 (Carey and Young 1999), Deep Bay may holds 0.4% to 0.8% of the Eastern / Southeastern Asia population, estimated by Miyabayashi and Mundkur (1999) to lie in the range 600,000 to 1,000,000.Eurasian Coot Fulica atraAt a mean peak count for the 1990s of 1620 birds, Deep Bay may hold 1% or more of the regional east/southeast Asian wintering population, estimated by Rose and Scott (1997) to lie between 100,000 and over one million (Carey and Young 1999).Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquataWith five-year mean peak winter count of 800 in the Deep Bay area during the period 1992-93 to 1996-97, the area regularly supports a minimum of 0.8% - 8% of the flyway population, estimated by Rose and Scott (1997) to lie in the range 10-100,000. (Carey and Young 1999).Spotted RedshankTringa erythropusA conservative estimate of birds utilising the Deep Bay area during a typical year is 3500 birds (Carey and Young 1999). Rose and Scott (1997) estimate that the east/southeast Asian wintering population range is 10-25,000, however, this appears too low and even if the figure is increased by one class to 25-100,000, the area still supports a minimum of 3.5% of the flyway population (Carey and Young 1999).C. Globally threatened species recorded at Sheung Pak NaiSheung Pak Lai is part of the Deep Bay areas lying in the outer part of the bay, and is composed mainly of oyster farms, mudflats and mangrove areas. This is an important feeding area for waterbirds, including the globally threatened Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor and the regionally important Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo. 63 individuals were recorded in 29 November 1999 feeding on the mudflat behind oyster farm (Y. T. Yu pers. obs.). This is a regular feeding ground of Black-faced Spoonbill and Great Cormorants, over 2000 Great Cormorant were recorded feeding regularly in January 1999 (Y. T. Yu pers. comm.). Other globally threaten species that have been recorded include Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca, Red-billed Starling Sturnus sinensis and Black Vulture Aegypius monachus.D. Species recorded in Shenzhen River catchment area:Long Valley is an agricultural area located at the eastern side of the proposed IBA. More than 210 bird species have recorded there since 1993, nearly half the Hong Kong list. Three of the species are "Vulnerable" and eight are "Near-threatened" as listed in Collar et.al (1994). Of the rest, four are regionally important, three have very restricted range in Hong Kong (such as Painted Snipe), three are rapidly declining, and eight have locally significant populations at Long Valley (including several Snipe species).(1)Globally threatened species: Vulnerable: Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca Japanese Yellow Bunting Emberiza sulphurate Near-threatened: Schrenck's Bittern Ixobrychus eurhythmus Black Vulture Aegypius monachus Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus Asiatic Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus Japanese Waxwing Bombycilla japonica Red-billed Starling Sturnus sericeus Chestnut-cheeked Starling Sturnus philippensis(2)Regionally important species with reference to Rose and Scott (1997): Chinese Pond Heron Ardeola bacchus Little Egret Egretta garzetta Common Teal Anas crecca Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (see also 23-32)E. Other information outside the proposed IBA:Tidal mudflats adjacent to Taipa-Coloane Causeway in Macau: In January 1999 12 Black-faced Spoonbill (Platalea minor) and 1 European Spoonbill were at the tidal marsh area adjacent to the Taipa-Coloane Causeway in Macau (Aston 1999 in litt. To M. Felley). In addition up to 22 Black-faced Spoonbills were present in Macau during the 1996/97 winter period (Christern Bohmer and Paul Aston pers. comm.). It is possible that these involve local movement by Deep Bay birds feeding widely over the Pearl River estuary in response to food availability (Leader 1998). However, a site visit to the area was made on 12 September 1999. It has been totally encircled, with active reclamation undergoing. It is believed that there will be further construction in the area and the site will eventually be destroyed (C. Ma pers. obs.).
Non-bird biodiversity: 1. FishpondsFlora: - Dominant grasses and herbs commonly found on bunds include Alternanthera sessilis, A. philoxeroides, Commelina communis and Ipomoea aquatica. Common grasses such as P. maximum and common weedy species such as Lantana camara, Mikania mirantha and Bidens rubra are commonly occurred.Fauna: - Mammals: Ades (1995) listed 13 mammal species that have been recorded from the fishponds, their banks and bunds at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve. The Javan Mongoose Herpestes javanicus and Leopard Cat Felis bengalensis chinensis have been observed with young, on bunds adjacent to fishponds (Young 1992b). Chinese Otters Lutra lutra chinensis have been seen acrossing tracks between fishponds (Fazey 1993). Seven-banded Civet Viverricula indica scats are also seen regularly on fishpond bunds (Ades unpublished data) and Ryukyu Mouse Mus caroli was first discovered in Hong Kong in 1992 on fishpond bunds adjacent to Mai Po (Chandrasekar-Rao 1995). - Amphibians: Lau (1995) showed that 7 amphibian species have been recorded from the Deep Bay fishponds within the Ramsar site, which is one-third of the amphibian fauna. - Reptiles: Lau (1995) indicated 16 reptile species have been recorded in and around fishponds of the Deep Bay area, which is about 20% of the known reptile fauna native to Hong Kong; this includes the SAR important Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle Pelodiscus sinensis. - Invertebrates: A total of 30 Odonata species out of the 103 known from the SAR have been recorded in fishponds (Townland 1993), and 60% of the identified species belong to the superfamily Libelluloidea (K. Wilson pers. comm.). Among the invertebrate fauna, Diptera and Hemiptera are also important components of the invertebrate fauna, their population densities reaching a the peak in spring and autumn. Dominant benthic invertebrates include Ostracoda and Nematoda. (Aspinwall & Company 1996b)2. Gei Wais (tidal shrimp ponds) and reedbedsFlora: - Local rarities include Ruppia maritima which has been recorded in the gei wai (ERL 1988) and the marine angiosperm Halophylla beccarii is found on the mudflat. - The stands of reed Phragmites communis in Mai Po Nature Reserve are the largest in Hong Kong (46 ha), and one of the largest remaining in Guangdong Province, China (Gao, Y.R. pers. comm). - Mangrove species including Kandelia candel, together with Avicennia marina, Acanthus ilicifolius and Aegiceras corniculatum are well-established in several gei wai.Fauna: - Mammals: In May 1995, a dead Chinese Otter was discovered next to a gei wai at Mai Po Nature Reserve (Cha 1995). Chinese Otter spraints have been found near sluice gates of the gei wai, and the mammal has been seen swimming in the gei wai (Young 1994). Other mammals include Javan Mongoose , Leopard Cat, Seven-banded Civet, Bandicoot Rat Bandicota indica, Japanese Pipistrelle Bat Pipistrellus abramus and Brown Musk Shrew Suncus murinus. - Amphibians: Lau (unpublished data) recorded 5 species of amphibians at the bunds or water edges of gei wais in Deep Bay, including the Chinese Edible Frog Rana rugulosa which is protected in China (Rana tigrina rugulosa) (Romer 1979a; Karsen et. al. 1986) - Reptiles: Lau (unpublished data) also recorded 13 reptile species in and around gei wai in the Deep Bay area, including the Mangrove Water Snake Enhydris bennetti, Oriental Rat Snake Ptyas mucosus, Chinese Cobra Naja naja, King Corba Ophiophagus hannah and Burmese Python Python molurus. Also, there are occasional records of Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle (Lau, unpublished data). - Fish: Lee (1992) recorded a total of 38 fish species from the gei wais in Deep Bay during 1985 to 1989. Dominant fish species include the Tilapias Oreochromis nilotica and O. mossambicus which have the highest density and comprise 90% of the fish community in terms of numbers. - Invertebrates: The endangered Odonate (damselfly), Mortonagrion hirosei, has been recorded in the Mai Po reedbeds. This is a species specific to reedbeds that at present is otherwise known only from Japan (Reels 1994). Nearly 400 species of terrestrial invertebrates are found in the Mai Po reedbeds, with at least 4 species probably being previously undescribed (Reels 1994). - Butterflies and Moths: Mai Po is the type and only known locality for two moth species, Schrankia bilineata (Galsworthy 1997) and Thalassodes maipoensis (Galsworthy 1997). Mai Po also holds a number of moth species which are characteristic of mangrove and reedbed habitats including Chasmina candida, which in Hong Kong has only been recorded at the reserve so far (R. Kendrick, pers. comm. 1999).3. MangroveFlora: - The wetlands around Inner Deep Bay holds some 400 ha of inter-tidal mangroves which is the sixth largest protected area of mangroves in China (Fan 1994). The main species are Kandelia candel, Avicennia marina, Aegiceras corniculatum, Bruguiera conjugata, Exoecaria agallocha and Acanthus ilicifolus Fauna: - Reptile: The Mangrove Water Snake Enhydris bennetti is specially adapted to live in the mangrove. This species has a restricted global distribution and is found only along the coast of southern China between Hainan and Fujian Province (Zhao and Adler 1993). Deep Bay is the stronghold for this species within the territory (Romer 1979b, Lau and Melville 1992), and possibly in the region. The Burmese Python has also been found in mangroves in Deep Bay (A.J.Brandt pers comm.); this indicate this species may uses mangrove as a foraging ground or as a resting place. - Invertebrates: A literature survey of the marine invertebrate community (excluding insects) at Mai Po was made by Lee (1993). A total of 81 species were recorded, while 13 of which are previously undescribed, including the curstacean species Parasesarma Maiponensis. Dominant gastropod snail species include Irvadia bombayana (Peking University 1994). Crustacean species (crab) at the Mai Po Nature Reserve include Uca vocans, U. arcuata and U. acuta.4. Intertidal MudflatFlora: Hodgkiss and Morton (1978) indicated the only higher plant on the open mudflat is the sea-grass Halophila baccarii which occurs on the seaward edge of the mangroves.Fauna: - Birds: The area regularly support large number of waterfowl in winter (over 68,000 recorded in mid-January 1997) and on migration (up to 20,000 - 30,000 shorebirds). - Mammals: The only known mammals to use the mudflats are Chinese Otter and Crab-eating Mongoose whose scats have been found in the habitat (Young pers. comm.). - Reptile: The only known reptile to inhabit the mudflat within the Ramsar Site is Mangrove Water Snake. - Fish: Mudskippers include Boleophthalmus pectinirostris and Scartelaos viridis dominant on the open mudflat, and the Periophthalmus cantonensis limited to areas near to the mangroves. - Invertebrates:The Shenzhen River Regulation Project EIA carried out by Peking University in 1994 recorded a total of 77 morphospecies, with the most dominant Nereid polychaete worms and bivalves. The polychaete worms biomass recorded is high when compared to other similar studies on mudflats elsewhere in the world. Peking University (1994) showed that their dominance is closely related to organic pollution. These polychaetes and also bivalves provide an important food source for birds.In the past, there were extensive oyster beds on the intertidal mudflat (e.g. at Pak Lai) of the Deep Bay area. Two species of oyster were cultured, namely Crassostrea gigas and C. rivularis (Young and Melville 1993).6. Freshwater MarshesFlora: Dominant species include Phragmites australis, Paspalum distichum and Eleocharis equisetina. There are also records of common sedges such as Cyperus malaccensis var. brevifolius, C. radiata, C. alternifolius and C. polystachyos.Fauna: - Mammals: Local rarities include Chinese Otter which have been recorded only at Mai Po and in the Deep Bay area. - Amphibians: Freshwater marshes are the most important breeding habitat for amphibians such as the local rarity Chinese Edible Frog.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
1.Developmental pressure and habitat destruction (urbanization of the surrounding agriculture and fish culture sites) around inner Deep Bay Area are important threats. 2.The filling of fishponds for residential and other developments continued between 1985 and 1994, when the coverage dropped from over 2000 ha to 1500 ha, a 25%ecrease over 10 years (Aspinwall Clouston & Wetlands International - Asia Pacific 1997).3.Flood control and drainage channel construction project may alter drainage patterns, e.g. drainage channel construction at San Tin may cause the loss of wetland habitats and disturbance to birds. 4.Water pollution by effluent discharges such as human sewage, heavy metals, agricultural and industrial pollutants are also an important threat, especially in the Deep Bay area where there is severe eutrophication caused by various pollutants from both Hong Kong and mainland China. 5.Disturbance caused by activities of illegal cross-border muskipper collectors on the mudflat of Inner Deep Bay. In addition, illegal netting, trapping and shooting of birds during spring and autumn migration and throughout the winter, mainly by people from Mainland China occurs. Sporadic hunting led to the shooting of a single White Spoonbill in 1996, which, if unchecked may result in Black-faced Spoonbill casualties. 6.Various developments have caused a decline in the existing agricultural area and have influenced species dependent on the diversity of microhabitats. In plans published by the Hong Kong SAR Government in connection with the Planning and Development Study on North East New Territories, it is planned to construct a highway and railway through Long Valley which will fragmented this last remaining sizable piece of intact freshwater wetland in the Shenzhen River catchment.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Recent projects at Mai Po and Deep Bay area:1.Research on wintering Black-faced Spoonbill carried out by World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong (WWFHK) under funding from Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) from October 1998 to June 1999 and from October 1999 - June 2000. 2.Bird ringing using the site of Mai Po Nature Reserve at different times.3.Since December 1997, "Ramsar Wetland Conservation Programme" has been carried out by The Conservancy Association in collaboration with the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, under the subvention of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), HKSAR Government. This programme of monitoring of wetland dependant species involves monthly censusing of waterfowl, regular counts of shorebirds on migration and surveys of egret colonies during the breeding season.4. Environmental monitoring programme named "Regulation of Shenzhen River, Stage II, Phase I work, Monitoring Off-site Compensation Works - Mai Po" carried out by WWFHK, under Drainage Services Department, HKSAR Government, from August 1997 - July 1999.5. Hyder Consulting Ltd. & CES (Asia) Ltd. (1998) [Deep Bay Water Quality Regional Control Strategy Study. Agreement No. CE17-95] Hong Kong: Hyder Consulting.6. Aspinwall Clouston & Wetlands International - Asia Pacific. (1997) [Study on the Ecological Value of Fish Ponds in Deep Bay area. Agreement No. CE 72/94] Hong Kong: Aspinwall Clouston.Initial list of research project by university students carried out around Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site from 1957 to 1999 :1999Cheung Y. M. (1999) The socio-economics of fish pond farming and implications for future land use in and around the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong. (M.Sc. thesis).Lui, T.H. (1999) Macrobenthic faunal assemblages of a traditional tidal shrimp pond at Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong (M.Phil. thesis)1998Li, H. (1998) Spatial and temporal variations in the succession patterns of periphytic diatom communities in tidal shrimp ponds (gei wai) at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve. Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong, (M.Phil. thesis)Yu, Y. T. (1998) Migration and stopover ecology of Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis at Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)1997Lam, V.S.K. (1997) Survey on the effectiveness of guided visit program of Mai Po Marshes. Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Lau, S.S.S. (1997) Pollution status and assimilative potential of wetlands at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong. Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong. (M.Phil. thesis)Lee, W. H. (1997) Ecological value of reedbeds (Phragmites australis) at Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong (M.Phil. thesis).Leung, Y.H. (1997) Water quality of Mai Po Marshes. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Li, P.S. (1997) Water quality of Mai Po Marshes. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project.)McChesney, S. (1997) The benthic invertebrate community of the intertidal mudflat at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, with special reference to resource for migrant shorebirds. Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong (M.Phil. thesis).Ma, K.W. 1997. Foraging behaviour, patch use and use of drain down gei wai by Little Egret Egretta garzetta at Mai Po, Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project.)1996Chan, C.W., Chan, K.F., Lee, W.L., Wong, S.W. and Wong, Y.K. (1996) The benthic community in Mai Po marshes (gei wai 20-24). Hong Kong. Hong Kong Technical College (Chai Wan). (Final year project.).Chan, V. and Dawes, V. (1996) Suvey on the guided visit program of Mai Po Marshes - July to August 1996. Hong Kong. WWF Hong Kong. reportCheung, W.L., Lee, K.C., Sia, S.F. and Tong, S.T. (1996) Determination of the heavy metal concentration in Metapenaeus ensis, Eriocheir chinensis and sediment from four Mai Po gei wai (8, 11, 16/17, 19). Hong Kong. Hong Kong Technical College (Chai Wan). (Final year project.)Fung, C.N. (1996) Sediment characteristics on the Mai Po mudflats. Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Leung, H.W. (1996) The water quality and soil characteristic of four fish ponds in Mai Po. Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Lui, T.H. (1996) Effects of nitrogen enrichment on the mangrove Kandelia candel (L.) Druce. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Sadaba, R.B. (1996) An ecological study of fungi associated with the mangrove associate Acanthus ilicifolius L. in Mai Po, Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Ph.D. thesis)Wong, W.L. (1996) The physical and chemical characteristics of the sediment and water in Mai Po gei wai. Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)1995Kwok, P.W. (1995) The ecology of two sesarmine carbs, Perisesarma bidens (de Haan) and Parasesarma plicata (Latreille) at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve. Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Ph.D. thesis)Lee W.H. (1995) Distribution and structure of reedbeds community in gei wai 4, 6, 8 and 10 in Mai Po. Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Lok, Y.L. (1995) The effect of herbicide on Phragmites australis and the associated fauna in a gei wai of Mai po Nature Reserve. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project.)Picton, E.L. (1995) The stratigraphic record of heavy metals preserved in the Mai Po Marshes, Hong Kong. United Kingdom. University of Leeds. (B.Sc. thesis)Tsang, C.L. (1995) The distribution and structure of Phragmites communis in gei wai 4, 6, 8 and 10 in Mai Po. Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)1994Anderson, C. (1994) The production ecology of the mangrove at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Ph.D. thesis)Chan, C.K. (1994) Effect of nutrient enrichment on macroinvertebrates in a Mai Po gei wai. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Hui, S.H. (1994) Species composition and abundance of benthic macroinvetebrates in Mai Po gei wai. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Hui, S.H. (1994) The distribution of the invertebrates in three different regions of gei wai 3 in different seasons and the factors affecting their abundance. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Kwok, Y.W. (1994) Study of benthic invertebrates in Mai Po gei wai. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Leung, C.Y. (1994) Spatial and temporal variations in species composition and abundance of xooplankton in Mai Po gei wai. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Reels, G.T. (1994) Management strategies for the reed Phragmites asutralis (Cav.) Steud. At Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong, with observation on the associated insect fauna. Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong (M.Phil. thesis).Sun, W.N. (1994) Study of benthic invertebrates in Mai Po gei wai. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Wong, K.W. (1994) Species composition and abundance of benthic macroinvertebrates in Mai Po gei wai. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Yung, H.T. (1994) Study of benthic invertebrates in a Mai Po gei wai. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)1993Keung, M.K. (1993) A study on the behaviours of Cormorants in Mai Po. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Kwok, K. (1993) Effect of water level fluctuation of gei wai on distribution of waders in the Mai Po Marshes. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Ma, K.K. (1993) A study on the behaviours of Cormorants in Mai Po. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Pearson, S. (1993) A comparison of the use of habitats for feeding by Chinese pond herons and Little egrets in 1989, 1990 and 1993, with special emphasis on commercial fishponds in Hong Kong. Extended essay - Environmental Systems. Hong Kong. Li Po Chuen College. Tsang, S.C. (1993) To monitor the heavy metal content in the polychaeta Dendronereis pinnaticirrus in Mai Po mudflat. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Wong, Y.M. (1993) Comparison of mudflat invertebrate densities in different parts of the Deep Bay mudflats. Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. (Final year B.Sc. project)Young, L. (1993) The ecology of Hong Kong Ardeidae (Aves) with special reference to the Chinese Pond Heron at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve. Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Ph.D. thesis)1992Chan F.M. (1992) Heavy metals in the tissues of Oreochromis mossambicus and Coutierella tonkinensis at Mai po. Hong Kong. Baptist College. (Final year B.Sc. project)Chiu Kin-tung. (1992) An assessment of the water pollution status of the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Ph.D. thesis)1991Britton, A.R.C. (1991) Feeding behaviour in the Little Egret. United Kingdom. University of Leeds. (Final year B.Sc. project)Choi, K.C. (1991) The ecology of Fiddler crabs (Crustacea: Ocypodidae) at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (M.Phil. thesis)Leung, S.F. (1991) The population dynamic of Metapenaeus ensis (Penaeidae) and Exopalaemon styliferus (Palaemondiae) in a traditional tidal shrimp pond at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (Ph.D. thesis)1990Wong, F.K.O. (1990) Habitat utilization by Little Egret. Hong Kong. Chinese University of Hong Kong, (final year B.Sc. project)1989Anderson, C. (1989) The effects of sexual selection of feeding ecology of Uca arcuata (Decapoda, Brachyura, Ocypodidae), a fiddler crab of Hong Kong mangrove system. United Kingdom. University of Southampton. (Final year B.Sc. project)Chan, K. Y. (1989) The ecology of mudskippers (Pices: Periophthalmidae) at the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong. Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong (unpublished thesis).1988Lee, S.Y. (1988) The ecology of a traditional tidal shrimp pong in Hong Kong, the production and fate of macrodetritus and implications for management. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong, (Ph.D. thesis)1986Leung, K.W. (1986) Landuse and landuse changes in the Deep Bay area. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (B.A. thesis)Pong, M.W. (1986) The marketing of oysters and gei wai shrimps in Deep Bay. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (B.A. thesis)Wong, C.M. (1986) Shrimp farming in Deep Bay - The evolution and present situation of a traditional industry. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (B.A. thesis)1970Chan, S.Y. (1970) The changing landuse pattern in Tin Shui Wai - and example of reclamation of swamps and marshes for agricultural purpose in the New Territories. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (B.A. thesis)1957Poon, S.C. (1957) Land utilization of the marshes north of Tung Tau Tsuen. Hong Kong. University of Hong Kong. (B.A. thesis)(Ed - It should be noted, however, that information on the ecology and biodiversity of the potential IBA is far from complete: in particular, research have been carried out by academic institutions, the majority of these studies are carried out within in the area of Mai Po Nature Reserve and are not inter-related at a broader scale. Other areas outside the reserve and Ramsar site are not documented enough in terms of ecological characteristic and functions. - See-"Other Flora/Fauna")
1. Mai Po Marshes Wildlife Education Centre and Nature Reserve Mai Po Marshes is part of the largest estuarine wetland and the only remaining significant piece of such habitats in Hong Kong. About 70% of the area of the marshes consist of tidal shrimp ponds (gei wai), each on average being 10 hectares in area. The other 30% of the area is mangrove. Since 15 September 1976, Mai Po Marshes was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance. Listing of an area as a SSSI did not confer any legal protection but its values would be considered in Government planning. The Mai Po Marshes (Register of SSSI, Planning Department, HKSAR Government 1993) are the only area in Hong Kong where large numbers of duck, shore and marsh birds can regularly been seen, and as such have a very considerable scientific and educational potential. The marshes contain the largest and most important area of dwarf mangrove in Hong Kong. This highly productive community and the related artificial Gei wais provide a rich food source for both resident and migratory birds, as well as nesting habitats for a number of species. Since 1981, the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance Cap. 170, was amended so that all hunting of wild birds became totally prohibited in Hong Kong. World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong (WWFHK) initiated its Mai Po Marshes project in 1983. In 1984, WWFHK began active management of Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve for education and conservation of wildlife. In 1995, the wetland around Mai Po Marshes and Inner Deep Bay (1,500 ha) was formally designated as a Ramsar Site, under the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance. Inner Deep Bay was declared a restricted area in February 1996.2. Mai Po Village The Mai Po Village declared as SSSI because of the presence of a egretry (Register of SSSI, Planning Department, HKSAR Government 1993).3 Pak Lai Of ornithological interest. Area consists of sandspit which is used as a high tide roost site for gulls and herons in the Deep Bay area and is the only such site in Hong Kong. (Register of SSSI, Planning Department, HKSAR Government 1993). However, this area is no longer a egretry now (Young pers. comm.)4. Tsim Bei Tsui A mature mangrove community with rare species Bruguiera conjugata and the only habitat for snail Ellobium polita (Register of SSSI, Planning Department, HKSAR Government 1993).5. Inner Deep Bay The largest and most important mudflats for mangroves and feeding site for migratory birds (Register of SSSI, Planning Department, HKSAR Government 1993).6. Tsim Bei Tsui Egretry The egretry is important in Hong Kong as the nesting and breeding place for several hundred pairs of egrets and herons. (Register of SSSI, Planning Department, HKSAR Government 1993). Tsim Bei Tsui used to hold more than one egretry in or before 1995. However, it is now is no longer used as an egretry (Young & Cha 1995),