29 Jul 2009

Munias at Long Valley, Hong Kong

Long Valley was the site of a landmark environmental legal hearing a few years ago. The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (owned by the government) wanted to build a viaduct through the middle of the area. The HK Birdwatching Society led a campaign, supported by other green groups to oppose the project.

Remarkably, the environmentalists won, KCRC lost, and were required to build a tunnel UNDER Long Valley. This says a lot about the rule of law and independence of the judiciary in post-handover HK.

A lot of active management of this rare freshwater wetland continues. A recent project involving The Conservancy Association and HKBWS has been the planting of rice in Long Valley. (Hardly anyone grows rice in HK these days. By the early 1970s, imported rice had become so cheap it was hardly worth the effort to grow it. Farmers switched to vegetables, or emigrated.)

Anyhow, recent cutting of the rice stalks has been a windfall for both White-rumped and the odd Spotted Munia.

KCRC has been swallowed up by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation. Who'd have thought Long Valley would outlast it ?

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