In tandem with the development of the local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan under the international Convention on Biological Diversity, a mega-project was initiated by the Environment Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government to assess the current status of marine coastal communities in the Tolo Harbour and Channel, an area that is known to support highly diverse flora and fauna but has been affected by intense human activities such as coastal development, pollution and fishing. A multidisciplinary team consisting of 23 scientists and environmentalists from different local institutions jointly conducted a comprehensive ecological study between October 2015 and September 2018, covering a wide range of habitats (e.g., rocky and soft shores, mangroves, and subtidal rocky reef) and taxonomic groups (e.g., waterbirds, juvenile fish, plankton and coral). A total of 1,473 marine species and 124 bird species (including 45 waterbirds) were recorded, adding 294 new records of marine taxa (recorded as species, genus or family level) to the Hong Kong Register of Marine Species (HKRMS). As a highlight in this study, two new species were discovered and described, while one species was re-described. The team also documented the spatiotemporal variations of species diversity and the occurrence of 14 species of conservation priority. The integration of these data will contribute to the production of a GIS-based species database for scientific, conservation and educational purposes. More importantly, the results of this mega-project establish a blueprint of standardised, scientific practice for future marine biodiversity surveys and ecological impact assessments in various habitats in the marine environment of Hong Kong and beyond. Copyright © 2019 ICMPE-9.
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2019|
Astudillo, J. C., Ang, P. O., Baker, D., Brander, L., Cannicci, S., Chan, K. K. Y., . . . Williams, G. A. (2019, June). Marine biodiversity and ecology of Tolo Harbour and its channel, Hong Kong. Poster presented at the 9th International Conferences on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology (ICMPE-9), The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.