Hong Kong Paradise Fish
Hong Kong Paradise-fish Macropodus hongkongensis (Freyhof & Herder, 2002)
IUCN Red List status: not evaluated
About the Species
The Hong Kong Paradise-fish, Macropodus hongkongensis, was only formally classified as a distinct species from Macropodus concolor, and thus recognised as new to science, in 2002. It was the first freshwater fish to be named after Hong Kong. The species is highly restricted globally, being known only from Hong Kong and southeast Guangdong. Its lowland habitats, mainly marshes and slow-moving streams, are under constant threat from urbanisation, and it is also vulnerable to collection for the local and regional pet trade.
Habitat destruction and development are the main threats faced by the species in Hong Kong. In the late 1990s, KFBG first rescued a population of Hong Kong Paradise fish from a habitat that was being illegally damaged. Both KFBG and the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) had maintained breeding populations in the past. Other semi-wild populations had also been established in the territory by AFCD. The most important conservation action is to uphold the protection of lowland habitats, some of which are outside protected areas and recent data regarding this species suggests wild distribution may now be adequate to ensure safety of the species in-situ. Continual monitoring of population size and habitat are necessary for the species’ survival.