Conservation work

Besides working on abandoned and astray reptiles and amphibians, we recently started some local conservation projects.

Herps of our concern

Imagine you are on a night safari.

What are these herps in front of you?

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香港瘰螈 Hong Kong Newt
(Paramesotriton hongkongensis)

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眼斑水龜 Beal's Eyed Turtle
(Sacalia bealei)

溫室蟾 Greenhouse Frog
(Eleutherodactylus planirostris)

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Click on them to learn more!

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​Conservation...

for what?

Conservation of herpetofauna (herps) refers to the protection of native amphibians and reptiles from extinction. Since native herps are facing different anthropogenic threats, we are determined to work hard for their protection, hoping to contribute to local ecological conservation.

Threats

faced by herps

​非法貿易

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​生境破壞

外來物種

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外來病菌

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氣溫上升

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過度捕捉

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14 - 15 cm

​前肢具4趾

​後肢具5趾

腹部具橙色斑紋

身體具零星疣粒

尾巴扁平,下部呈紅色

Species

Amphibian

Caudata

香港瘰螈 Hong Kong Newt

Paramesotriton hongkongensis

Habitat

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Desciption

First discovered in Hong Kong, it was once thought to be an endemic species in Hong Kong. It is the only amphibian species in Hong Kong belonging to the order Caudata. The back is brown-black, and the abdomen has irregular orange markings to warn predators.

Distribution

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Diet

Threats

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Threats: catchwater

Since the 1980s, in order to improve Hong Kong’s flooding problem during the rainy season, the Hong Kong government has converted many natural rivers into artificial catchwater to help discharge floods. However, when constructing these catchwater, the government did not consider the problem of habitat transformation and its ecological impacts.

​Natural River

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Food

Slow water flow

Hiding place   ⭕

Breeding site   ⭕

catchwater

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Fast water flow

food 

Can't escape

Hiding place   ❌

Breeding site   ❌

Using Hong Kong newt as a starting point, we hope to urge the Water Supplies Department to improve the drainage work as soon as possible. According to researchers, Hong Kong’s catchwater do not have suitable plants and water bodies for the breeding of Hong Kong newts. Some catchwater in Hong Kong are very long, newts that have been washed away are now far away from the original breeding sites and populations, and there are no suitable habitats at the downstream areas. According to our observations, Hong Kong newt has the ability to climb vertically, which means they still have a chance to escape the catchwater. But even if they do climb out, they may not be near any suitable habitats. At the same time, other animals are often trapped in catchwater, such as barking deers, cattle, porcupines, wild boars, stray cats and dogs, and other amphibians and reptiles.

in the News

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"Mr. Chan Man-Ho stated that Hong Kong Newts reside in slowly running streams. Since (streams) are connected to catchwaters, there is a high chance of newts being washed away, ending up at rivers and ponds that are not viable for them. He conceived that WSD did not take into the consideration of impacts on animals when the catchwaters were first designed. Humans therefore should take responsibility, such as adding nets on the sides, reducing slopes etc. to increase the chance of escaping. Foreign countries set up 'emergency ladder' for the animals without malfunctioning the catchwater.

 

Mr. Chan Man-Ho said that the breeding season of newts persists until Spring, and the number of newts flushed away was uncountable, urging WSD to change the design of catchwater."