Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

‘Alarming’ decline in Hong Kong’s black-faced spoonbill population, group warns

‘Alarming’ decline in Hong Kong’s black-faced spoonbill population, group warns

Hong Kong Bird Watching Society reports local population has fallen below 300 for first time in eight years.

Conservationists have reported an “alarming” decline in the population of the endangered black-faced spoonbill in Hong Kong, despite global numbers reaching a record high.

The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society on Wednesday also warned that the species’ numbers had become overly concentrated in Taiwan, where any changes in its habitat could further endanger its survival. The island is home to nearly two-thirds of the bird’s worldwide population.

Releasing its annual black-faced spoonbill census, the group said the global population reached 6,603 last winter, compared with 6,162 the previous year and 5,222 between December 2020 and January 2021. The latest figures follow a steady trend of growth since 1989.

Black-faced spoonbills foraging at the Mai Po nature reserve.


But there was a significant drop in their numbers in Hong Kong, from 369 last year to just 299 in January, marking the first time the figure had fallen below 300 in eight years. The group counted the birds in Deep Bay marshes.

Society director Yu Yat-tung said more time was needed to find out why the population had dwindled.

“It could be from human disturbance or it could be from a decrease in food sources,” he said. “But it’s never too early to start taking action, even if we are not entirely clear on the reasoning yet.”

Yu added the government should consider encouraging fishermen to return to the area or continue working there amid a decline in local freshwater fish farming, ensuring black-faced spoonbills had enough to eat, while also limiting other types of human traffic.

The group also said an exotic and highly invasive species of mangrove – the Sonneratia caseolaris – had been spreading in the mudflats, resulting in loss of habitat for the birds.

Latest figures show a drop in the local population of black-faced spoonbills.


In Taiwan, the black-faced spoonbill population continued to grow this year, reaching 4,228, a 10.6 per cent increase year on year. They accounted for 64 per cent of the global population.

“Although global numbers have risen, the threat remains for the species,” Yu said.

“So many of them are concentrated in Taiwan. If anything were to happen to the environment there, a majority of the global population would immediately fall into danger, so it’s important we continue to do our part here in Hong Kong.”

Population increases were also reported in mainland China, with the number of birds growing by 15.1 per cent to 1,307, and in South Korea, where there was a 45.9 per cent rise to 54 spoonbills.

Japan reported 610 black-faced spoonbills this year, marking a 10.7 per cent drop in its population. Local experts attributed the decline to a bird flu outbreak and loss of stopover sites, the group said.

Black-faced spoonbill are wading birds that spend the winter across eastern Asia and was nearly driven to extinction in the 1980s before international efforts steadily brought its numbers back up again.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×