Conservation and Research - Conservation by Site
New Territories North Farmland Ecosystem
Fauna Conservation Flora Conservation Conservation by Site Ecological Advisory Programme Collaborative Research in KFBG’s Nature Reserve Researchers Facilities

According to the Hong Kong Government’s Northern Metropolis Development Strategy (NMDS), an area of 300 km2 (almost 4 Hong Kong Islands) in Yuen Long and North Districts will undergo massive development in the next 20 years, with ambitious targets like building 200 thousand residential units, a large-scale technopole, railway extensions etc.  

Conceptual area of the Northern Metropolis
Typical farming landscape near Lo Wu

While farmland is a man-made habitat, it is home to many wildlife, some become so dependent on farmlands this ecosystem is critical for their survival. We are conducting biodiversity assessment at 9 selected farmland sites within the NM, and within a short span of six months, we already recorded 151 bird species (27% of Hong Kong total), including 29 species of conservation concern, such as the globally "Critically Endangered" Yellow-breasted Bunting (please [click here] for the interim report). Our survey also confirmed the importance of farmlands for numerous species of dragonflies, butterflies, amphibians and reptiles.

Little Bunting depends heavily on farmland ecosystem when spending their winters in Hong Kong

We recommend:

  • Conserve ecologically significant farmlands in the New Territories North. Sites of particular importance are the Sandy Ridge farmland-wetland mosaic, as well as the Tai Po Tin - Chow Tin farming landscape to preserve our traditional agricultural landscape, and the numerous farmland-dependent wildlife.
  • Establish a Greenway Network across the NM encompassing a system of pedestrian walkways, cycling tracks, hiking trails, wildlife bridge/underpass, green belts and well-managed preserves, linking important natural, agricultural and cultural features for conservation, education and recreation purposes.
Farmlands in Hong Kong are nowadays highly fragmented
Water pollution is still a common problem in our rural districts, and most streams have been turned into man-made channels  
Illegal land filling completely destroys farmland habitat
Farming is also an important part of Hong Kong's history and cultural heritage 
Proposed Greenway Network to enhance nature and culture conservation, as well as becoming Hong Kong’s nature education and recreation attraction