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Dear Feedback,

We refer to the book review on "A Field Guide to the Amphibians of Hong Kong" published in the latest issue of Porcupine! 33. We are pleased to see that our book has captured the attention of your reviewer and will make good use of his constructive comments in a future revision of the book. Nevertheless, we are deeply disappointed by the approach adopted which, to our concern, would prejudice fellow readers of Porcupine! against the field guide before they have the opportunity to read it. Wording and remarks such as "some hooligan at AFCD or Cosmos Books", "migraine-inducing dog’s dinner", "ghastly, clamorous jumble of overlapping amphibian photographs" and "recommend it to non-epileptics" are certainly out of place for a newsletter of the reputable Department of Ecology and Biodiversity of The University of Hong Kong.

We respect Porcupine! as a highly acclaimed newsletter which has a large readership in particular among fellow ecologists and nature enthusiasts in Hong Kong. However, we regret to see that a book review with such inappropriate wording is being published. We sincerely hope that any book reviews in Porcupine! in future could be done in a constructive and respectful manner.

Simon Chan, K.S. Cheung, C.Y. Ho, F.N. Lam, W.S. Tang
(Herpetofauna Working Group, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)

Michael Lau
(Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden)

Anthony Bogadek
(St. Louis School)

Authors of "A Field Guide to the Amphibians of Hong Kong"

[Editor’s note: It should be noted that views expressed in all articles published in Porcupine! represent those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Ecology & Biodiversity.]

Dear Feedback,

I refer to Graham Reels’s review of the ‘Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Hong Kong’ by Keith DP Wilson in Porcupine! 32: 20-21. Although Graham was, on the whole, complimentary about the book, for which I am grateful, he gave the impression that the book was largely a one-man production. The book, now in its second edition, was written in collaboration with Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department’s (AFCD) Dragonfly Working Group (DWG). I must acknowledge their significant input into the publication of this field guide. The DWG, comprised of TW Tam, Boris SP Kwan, Karrie KY Wu, Bryan SF Wong and Joyce K Wong, surveyed many areas not previously covered by dragonfly surveys resulting in considerable updating of distribution and conservation status of HK’s dragonflies. In addition the DWG was responsible for the discovery of two species not previously recorded from Hong Kong, the discovery of a new gomphid species (Fukienogomphus sp.), editing both the English and Chinese texts, and reviewing the keys, drawings and photos. The field guide was very much a collaborative effort with AFCD’s DWG rather than ‘the result of one man’s efforts.’ I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of T.K. Woo & W.L. Hui who both work in the country parks branch of AFCD. They provided new information on the distribution of Hong Kong’s dragonflies and were responsible for the discovery of Cephalaeschna klotsi Asahina.

Keith DP Wilson




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