Re ECF Project: 2005-10

Project Title: Seabird migration survey in southern and southeastern Hong Kong waters, spring 2006

Applicant: The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society

Project Proponent: Dr. Cheung Ho Fai

Total Approved Grant: $140,307.50

Duration: 1/3/2006 to 30/6/2006

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

The objectives of the study are:

  1. To fill up information gap of present knowledge about the abundance and distribution of migrant seabirds in Hong Kong waters.
  2. To publish result of the surveys and to promote conservation importance.
  3. To arouse the awareness of the general public on the natural occurrence of seabirds annually in Hong Kong, as very few efforts have been put up in the past.

Summary of Findings/Outcomes:
A total of 22 survey trips were completed in the period from 17 March to 18 May and a total of 8,750 individuals of seabirds from 23 species were recorded. The largest group is comprised by Red-necked Phalaropes Phalaropus lobatus with 6,618 individuals (76%) and seconded by 1,727 individuals of terns (family Sternidae) in 12 species. This study showed that high number of seabirds passed through Hong Kong in the spring and the actual number could well be more than this present figure. More Red-necked Phalaropes occurred in the south-eastern waters (i.e. area near the Ninepins), while more terns occurred in the southern waters (i.e. between Po Toi and Lamma Island). Hence, any future development plans in these areas need to consider their adverse impacts to these seabirds. The knowledge about seabirds in Hong Kong is still far from complete. Further studies, such as autumn migration of seabirds, are strongly recommended.

To enhance the public awareness on seabird, a webpage has been produced and posted in the website of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society: (