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Wild Corner (pdf)
Any sightings of civets, mongooses, ferret badgers, leopard cats, barking deer, pangolins and porcupines - live or dead - should be reported. Rare birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, or unusual behaviour by common species, are also of interest, as are rare or interesting invertebrates and plants. If you think it is interesting, our readers probably will! Please give dates, times and localities as accurately as possible.

MAMMALS

Anton Webb reported the sighting of a large Barking Deer near his home in Sai Kung. He was driving along Tai Mong Tsai Road at approximately 10.30 pm on 25 May 2006 when he noticed what he initially thought was a large dog standing at the side of the road. He slowed down and as he drew nearer he realized that it was a Barking Deer. The deer remained quite still and he stopped the car 1.7 m from the deer. The deer was approximately 50-60 cm at the shoulder.

A Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica was seen by Bosco Chan foraging close to the 'barbecue restaurants' in the evening of 15 April 2006 at the mudflat of Tai Tam Harbour by the outflow of the Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir.

Janet Walker and Richard Brooks saw a Masked Palm Civet in Barker Road, The Peak, (near no. 28) on Wednesday 6 April 2006 at around 4 to 5 pm. It was estimated as at about 160-180 cm long from head to tail.

(Photo: Janet Walker)

On 11 January 2006, Dr. Lawrence Chau was undertaking a Podocarpus survey in Sai Kung when he came across a barking deer caught in a gin trap that subsequently had its hind quarters eaten by Feral Dogs. The WARC received photos from Mr Choi He Man of a barking deer that was killed by feral dogs in Lai Pin Road, Sha Tin, on 12 March 2006. Both events provide further documentary evidence of the impact of feral dogs on the native fauna.

Professor D. Helmeste, a visiting professor staying at Robert Black College, HKU, took a picture of this Masked Palm Civet visiting the nearby Ficus variegata var. chlorocarpa tree on 25 April 2006.

(Photo: D. Helmeste)

Fiona Somerville reported that the Malayan Porcupine population is alive and well on HK Island. Having seen a couple on Lugard Road in January 2005, she saw a large pair in the storm drain opposite Haking Mansions on Barker Road at around 9 pm. They were probably drinking out of the drain.

BIRDS

Bosco Chan saw a group of seven Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (including three subadults) in the afternoon of 15 April 2006 at the mudflat of Tai Tam Harbour by the outflow of the Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir; blurry photographs were taken. It is apparently the first Hong Kong Island record for this species.

Karen Barretto made the fourth observation in Hong Kong of the Barred Cuckoo Dove (Macrophygia unchall) on 25 April 2006 at Casa Pequena, Girassol, Tai Po Kau Headland, some 46 years after the first record of this species on 24 January, 1960, on Girassol Lane, by Cdr. Jim Humphreys. The other records were on 6, 7 & 12 December, 1989, at Hok Tau and on 5 May, 1998 at Cape D'Aguilar. These records may indicate the need for research on migratory birds utilising coastal and under-recorded locations. These data also illustrate the importance of long-term biological recording of wildlife conservation. The Tai Po Kau Headland Conservation Study & SSSI Proposal is nearing completion and will provide a mechanism for assessing sites requiring protection under the existing zoning legislation in Hong Kong. It will also extend the area of forest conserved in the Tai Po Kau area to include what is possibly the best remaining example of well-established coastal forest in Hong Kong.

Kwok Hon Kai saw two Ancient Murrelets Synthliboramphus antiquus in Port Shelter (near Yeung Chau) on 3 April 2006. He also saw a Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea in Tai Po Kau on 5 April 2006.

AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES

Guy díAuriol spotted a Python in the Plover Cove Country Park, somewhere near Sam A Tsuen, in June 2006. The head was the size of a manís hand and the middle part of the body was distended, possibly because the unresponsive snake was digesting a large animal. The snake was over 20 cm in diameter and estimated to be over 5 metres long. Thanks to Markus Shaw for passing on this exciting report.

P.35-36

 
   

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