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Wild Corner

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.


An adult Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta) was seen walking along Clear Water Bay Road near Sheung Yeung Village by Michael Lau, on 28 May 2001.

An attendant at Nam Chung Tin Hau Temple, Starling Inlet, told Captain Wong that two monkeys (one large and one small) were seen collecting fruits in the temple in June, following bad weather. No previous records of monkeys have been made in this location according to the attendant.

At 5:40 pm on 23 October 2001, Captain Wong heard calls of Barking Deer (Muntiacus sp.) at the catchment between Sunset Peak and Cheung Sha. In addition, several calls of Barking Deer were heard in Twin Pavilion during daytime on 17 October, from the direction of Ng Tung Chai.

Robert Davison saw two Barking Deer at 1:00pm on 11 November 2001, crossing a grassy slope near Yi O, Lantau. They were moving slowly, occasionally feeding, across relatively open ground and away from the woodland nearby. One deer had a noticeable white tail and white socks on its back legs. Weather at this time was warm and sunny.

Photo of a Leopard Cat (Felis bengalensis) was taken by an infrared camera in KFBG chicken section on 29 October 2001. It was believed that the cat had killed several chickens. On 10 November 2001, Rupert Griffiths saw two Leopard Cats fighting high in a tree near the Apiary of KFBG at 18:30. They were aggressively calling and striking at each other before one proceeded to chase the other through the tree top and then down to the ground.

An Otter (Lutra sp.) was seen swimming in a fish pond of Lok Ma Chau, near the border crossing bridge on 6 December 2000 by Yu Yat Tung. Although two species of otter were recorded in Guangdong, this individual and other past records are believed to be the Common Otter Lutra lutra.

Yu Yat Tung saw a Javan Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) on 19 October 2001 at Mai Po Village, and three Javan Mongooses including one of smaller size (i.e. juvenile) on 7 November 2001, in Mai Po Nature Reserve.

Kylie Chung, with Albert Au, Angel Au and Harald Parzer, caught two Javan Mongooses on 18 October 2001 and one on 19 October 2001. The three mongooses were caught in local wire cage traps set at Tai Mo Shan (>750m), in grassland with short shrubland nearby. Another trap was broken possibly by an escaped mongoose.

Two Masked Palm Civets (Paguma larvata) were seen by Harald Parzer just off University Drive at 9.00-10.00 p.m. on 25th of November 2001. One was apparently sleeping in a palm, the other one was feeding on figs (Ficus virens) on the adjacent tree. After half an hour the one in the palm joined the other one in the banyan. Both were not shy and it did not seem that they were disturbed by the torch. On the next day one was observed again (same time).

Lee Kwok Shing and Bosco Chan saw a road killed Ferret Badger (Melogale moschata) at the north-ern end of the Tung Chung Road, Lantau, in November 2001. Apparently this is the first documented record of the species in Lantau.

Laura Wong and Angel Au sawa dead Ferret Badger on 18 November 2001. The fresh corpse was found on grassland by the side of Tai Mo Shan carpark (700m), and it showed no obvious wounds. (photo by Janice Wong)

Steven Parker saw a dead Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) in a drainage ditch between Repulse Bay and Stanley in Hong Kong Island, on 18 November 2001.

A road killed Masked Palm Civet (Paguma larvata) was found at around 7am, on 21 November 2001in Tin Hau, North Point, as reported in Apple Daily. The victim was about 2.5 feet long.(22 November 2001)

Three Masked Palm Civets, one adult and two juveniles, were found at the mountain lodge of KFBG on 13 August 2001, by the security guard.

Yu Yat Tung saw a Small Indian Civet (Viverricula indica) at Pond 21, Mai Po on 27 November 2001.

Three Finless Porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) were seen off the Ocean Park from the ferry to Po Toi on 21 April 2001 by Yu Yat Tung.

Markus Shaw spotted a dead Finless Porpoise, floating in the sea just west of Town Island, on 26 August 2001. It was about 1.5m long and quite decomposed.


A flock of 16 Black-faced Spoonbills (Platalea minor) was seen flying high and heading to North/Northeast from Mai Po Village on 15 March 2001 by Yu Yat Tung. The sighting indicated that the birds had started their northward migration, which matches the result of satellite tracking study.

Michael Lau saw one Black Bittern (Ixobrychus falvicollis) flushed out at Sha Lo Tung on 8 October 2001.

One Pygmy Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla) was seen and photographed by an AFCD warden in Tai Po Kau, on 7 November 2001, as reported by Michael Lau.

Keith Wilson saw a pair of Red-necked Grebes (Pidiceps grisegena) in Yan Chau Tong Marine Park on Fiday 16 November 2001.

A Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)was spotted by Kwok Hon Kai (Ecosystems Ltd) in Tai Po Kau on 19 November 2001.


In the afternoon of 3 June 2001, Bosco Chan, Louis Cheng and Lee Kwok Shing observed the following species of interest when SCUBA diving and snorkeling at Bluff Island, Sai Kung.

  1. One Pipefish (Syngnathus sp.) around 20 cm TL, 3 metres deep, sandy substrate.
  2. One Long-fin Bannerfish (Heniochus acuminatus), 3 metres deep, around a 4-wheel vehicle on sandy substrate.

  3. One Tomato Clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) around 8 cm TL, 1.5 meters deep, coral substrate.
  4. Two Bird Wrasse (Gomphosus varius), 1 initial phase and 1 juvenile (around 4 cm TL) 1-2 metres deep, coral substrate.
  5. One Blackeye Thicklip Wrasse (Hemigymnus melapterus) juvenile around 7cm TL, 1.5 meters deep, coral substrate. The specimen has the characteristic white-dark brown-orange body coloration.
  6. Some Hingeback Shrimps (Rhynchocinetes sp.), 1.5-3 metres deep, coral substrate.


An egg mass of a Brown Tree Frog (Polypedates megacephalus), suggesting the presence of this species on the island, was found by Cheung Sze Man on 26 July 2001 in Tap Mun.

Kwok Hon Kai (Ecosystems Ltd) saw a couple of Two-Striped Grass Frogs (Rana taipehensis) on 19 June 2001 on Kau Sai Chau.

An Anderson's Stream Snake (Opisthotropis andersonii) was recorded by Cheung Sze Man and Rita Yam at Ng Tung Chai on 1 June 2001.

On 9 October 2001, Harald Parzer, Klemens Wernisch and Sukh Mantel saw a 30 cm long Bicolored Stream Snake (Opisthotropis lateralis) biting down on a 1.9 cm carapace width dead freshwater crab, Cryptopotamon anacoluthon, on the side of a pool in Tai Po Kau at around 7 pm.

On 9 September 2001 at 1.30 pm Maria Salas saw a 30 cm long Chinese Cobra (Naja atra) at the steps leading to the swimming pool in Sandy Bay.

A King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) was found near the parrot cages of KFBG by the security guards on 26 July 2001.

On 20 September 2001, a Chinese Mountain Snake (Sibynophis chinensis), was sighted in Tai Po Kau by Cheung Sze Man.

At 1:30 pm on 4 July 2001, Jamie Chung and Sukh Mantel saw an 80 cm long Common Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosus) on the red trail in Tai Po Kau. The same two individuals spotted another Common Rat Snake in Tai Po Kau on 9 August.

A Copperhead Racer (Elaphe radiata) was seen swimming in the sea near a pier in Ko Lau Wan by Cheung Ming Hong around mid-April 2001.

A Diamond-back Water Snake (Sinonatrix aequifasciata) was spotted by Sukh Mantel on 10 July 2001 around 8 pm.

Kwok Hon Kai saw a Mountain Water Snake (Sinonatrix percarinata) in Tai Po Kau on 10 October 2001.

On 10 July 2001 around 6:30 pm, Sukh Mantel saw a 20 cm long juvenile Red-necked Keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus) on the roadside in Shing Mun Country Park.

A 50 cm long Many-banded Krait (Bungarus multicinctus) was sighted on 23 July 2001 at 8:45 pm in Tai Po Kau by Sukh Mantel. Another Many-banded Krait 45 cm long was seen in Tai Po Kau on August 16 around 8 pm.

A freshly killed specimen of a Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) was seen on 27 September 2001 in Ha Pak Nai by Cheung Sze Man.

A Banded Krait was found by the security guard at the Post Office Pillar of KFBG, on 17 September 2001.

One hatching juvenile Burmese Python (Python molurus) was discovered by the security guard at the Upper Canteen of KFBG, on 24 August 2001. Adults are seen regularly.

A Chinese Slug Snake (Pareas chinensis) was seen by the security guard at Twin Tower of KFBG, on 5 September 2001.

A Three-banded Box Terrapin (Cuora trifasciata) was found wandering near Sign Post of KFBG by the security guard, on 10 July 2001.

On 25 August 2001, Markus Shaw found a freshly dead sub-adult Hawksbill Turtle entangled in a fishing line in the sea just north of Town Island.

A large Common Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) was seen on Bride's Pool Road, near Wu Kau Tang, at around 1 pm on 4 June 2001, by Graham Reels and Moni Chin. The animal was observed slowly crossing the road. It appeared to be in very healthy condition, and measured over 1.5m in length. It was approached to within 6m before rapidly disappearing down a wooded ravine. The 'Common' Water Monitor is in fact very rare in Hong Kong, and was considered possibly locally extinct by Karsen et al. (1998). It is not possible to know whether the animal seen at Wu Kau Tang was a released specimen or a native individual. However, the very robust and healthy appearance of the animal would argue against it being a recent release.


Two locally rare butterfly species were recorded by Michael Lau in November: Orange Oakleaf (Kallima inachus) on 5 November 2001 and Baron (Euthalia aconthea) on 7 November 2001. According to Bascombe et al (1999) these two species have not been recorded on the wing in November.

Some interesting Odonate records from Hong Kong Island by Michael Lau: on 11 May 2001, one Calicnemia sinensis was found near a forest stream along Mount Parker Road at about 140 m. Two Drepanosticta hongkongensis were found near a small stream at about 210 m. Several Drepanosticta hongkongensis and two Sinosticta ogatai were found along a forest stream south of Quarry Gap from 180 – 260 m.

According to Wilson (1997) C. sinensis is a regionally rare species with restricted local distribution. It has been recorded from five sites in Hong Kong (Wilson, 1997) and this Mt. Parker record represents the sixth site. Both D. hongkongensis and S. ogatai are believed to be endemic (but see Reels’ article in last issue of Porcupine!) and have never been recorded on Hong Kong Island (Wilson, 1997). Their presence in the Mount Butler area is hence of conservation interest.

A Commander butterfly Moduza procris was seen on 10 November 2001 in Tai Po Kau by Kwok Hon Kai (Ecosystems Ltd.) According to "The Butterflies of HongKong " by Bascombe et al. (1999), this species is onlyfound sporadically at some wooded localities in the NT.


Bascombe, M.J. et al (1999). The Butterflies of Hong Kong. Academic Press, London.

Karsen, S., et al. (1998). Hong Kong Amphibians and Reptiles. Provisional Urban Council, Hong Kong.




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