IN 2007, Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR, 九廣鐵路) set up 37 hectares of artificial wetlands at Lok Ma Chau (落馬洲) to make up for land taken away to build Lok Ma Chau station. After KCR and MTR merged, MTR took over the area. Ten years later, 260 species of birds have been recorded there. That is half of the bird species in Hong Kong, and nearly 40 more than the number recorded in 2007.
MTR said the wetlands include 27 hectares of fish ponds, 5 hectares of swamps and 5 hectares of reedbeds. The company spends HK$5 million dollars every year for the upkeep of the Lok Ma Chau and Kam Tin (錦田) wetlands. This include pest control, artificial low tides, live fish supplies, etc, to make sure the areas are suitable habitats for birds.
One of MTR’s independent consultants, Dr Ng Cho-nam (吳祖南) from the geography department of the University of Hong Kong (香港大學), said the number of birds species is higher than the requirement from the original environment report.
(This article is published on Goodies on 15 March 2017)