Spoonbills forego Deep Bay

THE number of black-faced spoonbills (黑臉琵鷺) visiting Deep Bay (后海灣) has dropped in contrast to a global rise in the bird’s numbers, the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (香港觀鳥會) said.

This year, only 361 black-faced spoonbills were recorded at Deep Bay or Shenzhen Bay (深圳灣), a drop of 5.7 percent from last year and 22 percent from the peak in 2010.

The black-faced spoonbill population at Deep Bay has been dropping at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the past decade.

The decreasing trend has also been recorded over in Shenzhen (深圳). Macau recorded a 24.5 percent drop from last year.

In a worldwide census coordinated by the group from 17 to 19 January, it recorded a new high of 4,851 black-faced Spoonbills globally, which is an 8.7 percent increase compared to last year, and the fourth new high in the past five years.

The group said the Deep Bay wetland habitat is deteriorating and the food available for black-faced spoonbills is declining, which prompts them to not stay in Hong Kong for wintering.

If Bay Area urbanisation continues, the mudflat habitat for black-faced spoonbills will be further reduced and they may eventually disappear from Deep Bay and Macau.

The group, therefore, urged for the urgent conservation of existing mudflats and fishponds.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 20 April 2020)


Hong Kong Bird Watching Society

Mai Po Nature Reserve – WWF