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Protect Sha Lo Tung 保護沙螺洞(張屋、沙螺洞老圍和李屋)
Hong Kong


沙螺洞曾有大片稻田大埔沙螺洞,位於新界大埔一個盆地,佔地超過80公頃。整個盆地被八仙嶺郊野公園環抱,原有3條傳統客家村落,分別是張屋、沙螺洞老圍和李屋。沙螺洞是香港唯一的淡水濕地,擁有良好的自然環境,香港接近六成半的蜻蜓品種在此地棲息。現為一塊荒地早年沙螺洞的村民大多以種水稻維生,大片稻田包圍各個村莊。大約在1983年,發展商開始向村民購地,後來遭受到環保團體極力反對,並不獲香港環境保護署通過,未能發展高爾夫球場及低密度住宅區,因此沙螺洞已經變成一塊荒地。目前沙螺洞村的村屋已十室九空,村民早已搬出巿區居住。由於沙螺洞環境清幽,吸引不少行山人士假日前來遠足。 In both a local and global context, Sha Lo Tung has very high ecological value. More species of dragonfly have been recorded here than anywhere else in Hong Kong: by 2003, at least 72 dragonfly species had been recorded; this figure represents 65% of the total for the whole of Hong Kong. One of the dragonfly species, Spangled Shadow-emerald (Macromidia ellenae), is endemic to Hong Kong. Sha Lo Tung is also the only site in the world to process two Macromidia species, namely South China Cruiser (Macromida katae) and Spangled Shadow-emerald (Macromidia ellenae).Sha Lo Tung boasts the highest number of damselfly species (Gomphidae Family) recorded in Hong Kong: 12 species in all. Additionally, a dragonfly species that has been recorded downstream �V Small Dragonhunter (Sieboldius alexanderi) �V may be new to science.Sha Lo Tung lies to the northeast of Tai Po Market, and is surrounded by Pat Sin Leng Country Park. Yet most of the land here is excluded from the Country Park. The Sha Lo Tung streams, freshwater marshes and nearby woodlands form an ecosystem which, besides being a good breeding area and feeding ground for a variety of dragonfly species (see photos), is also an important habitat for the endemic Hong Kong Paradise Fish (Macropodus hongkongensis) and other wild life.In 1997, the Sha Lo Tung streamcourses, together with a 30m buffer zone on both sides of the streams, was designated as a "Site of Special Scientific Interest", with a total area of about 22 ha. Despite the fact that Sha Lo Tung has been under statutory land use control, the ecological environment of Sha Lo Tung has yet to receive proper protection. For example, off-road vehicle users and war gamers who frequent the site can adversely impact the fragile Sha Lo Tung environment.The government is now reviewing the Hong Kong Nature Conservation Policy, and proposing two options to conserve ecologically important habitats which are on private land ownership, including (1) management agreements with the land owners and (2) private-public partnership. Whether the these two options will be successful will greatly depend on the active participation of the private land owners and just what assistance is given by government (such as allocation of resources, and policy support), as well as participation and help from local non-governmental groups.

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Copyright: Njohn
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 6816x3408
Taken: 03/11/2013
Uploaded: 30/11/2013
Updated: 09/04/2015


Tags: protect sha lo tung; 保護沙螺洞; 張屋; 沙螺洞老圍; 李屋
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More About Hong Kong

Overview and HistoryHong Kong sits on the south coast of China, on the Pearl River Delta. It's got a population of more than seven million people and is one of the most densely populated places on earth. It also appears to be putting into place the template for population management, which cities around the world will be implementing as soon as they can afford it. More on that later.Archaeological evidence dates human activity beneath present-day Hong Kong back to the stone age. The area was first settled by people from the mainland during the Han dynasty, around the beginning of the common era (the P.C. term for when B.C. changed to A.D. Whoa!)For hundreds of years, Hong Kong was a small fishing community and haven for travelers, with a few pirates here and there. Then whitey showed up.Western influence reached China at the beginning of the 15th century, when all those great explorers in boats were cruising for loot in strange and mysterious places. Tea and silk were the commodities connecting eastern Europe to China, and Hong Kong was known as a safe harbor through which to pass. When you're carrying the Queen's tea, it's especially important to avoid ARRRRRRguments with pirates. Hyuk hyuk hyuk.Seriously folks -- in the eighteenth century Britain was doing a booming business with China, offering Indian opium to balance their extensive purchases of fine porcelains and everything else. The opium was ordained to be for medicinal purposes only, of course.Well, as you may imagine, the Chinese got sick of opium fiends junking up the place, so they attempted to stop the British suppliers, to no avail. The Opium Wars resulted and ended with China ceding Hong Kong to the British, in fear of their massive naval power. This took place in the year 1841.Colonization soon followed, Hong Kong shot up in value as an international port, and its population increased dramatically. In 1898 Britain acquired additional territories on a 99 year lease -- expiring in 1997. Does that year sound familiar? Read on.In the 20th century Hong Kong changed hands several times. The British surrendered it to Japan during World War Two, then took it back after Japan's defeat, then gave it to China later. Immediately following the war, Hong Kong served as a safe haven for hundreds of thousands of Chinese refugees, while the Chinese National Government was losing its civil war against communist leadership.The population of Hong Kong exploded as corporations seeking to escape Chinese isolationism arrived and set up shop. Cheap labor in the textile and manufacturing industries steadily built up the economy and ensured foreign investment. By the end of the 20th century Hong Kong had become a financial mammoth offering banking services to the world.In 1997 Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule with a few stipulations in place to guarantee its economic autonomy, as much as possible. The phrase "one country, two systems" was coined by the Chinese to describe the relationship between the mainland and Hong Kong.Getting ThereWell, where do you want to get to from the Hong Kong International Airport? There are ferries servicing six mainland ports in the Pearl River Delta Region. Airport Express Railway connects directly to downtown Hong Kong, and it has been rated the best airport in the world multiple times.The Airport Express Railway will get you into Hong Kong in about an hour, for $100. Public buses cost $10 and take a little longer. For direct service to your hotel you can take one of the hotel's private buses ($120+) or a taxi ($300+). As you can see, waiting time is optional for those who can afford it.Here's a little blurb on travel times, with further information for access to nearby cities (cross-boundary transport).TransportationGrab an Octopus card when you arrive. Octopus is the world's first electronic ticket-fare card system and the Hong Kong public transportation system is the world leader in people-moving. 90% of Hong Kongers get around on public transportation.Octopus covers the Airport Rail line, buses, ferries, the rapid-transit MTR network, supermarkets, fast food outlets, phone booths... It's how to get around the cashless economy.Nevermind the microchip built into it, you'll get used to having one of those on you at all times -- and soon they'll be internal! What do I mean? Many schools in Hong Kong even use the Octopus card to check attendance, because you read the card's data with an external scanner from a distance. This will the global norm soon. What if that chip is installed in your body? It's in the works baby!The hilly Hong Kong terrain also demands some special modes of transportation. If you've been to Pittsburgh, you may have some idea of how cool it is to ride a cable car up the side of a mountain, overlooking a majestic harbor and city. Multiply that by about ten thousand and you've got Hong Kong: vertical-travel trams, moving sidewalks, and the world's longest outdoor escalator system.People and CultureThe local currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) which is pegged to the U.S. dollar. Official languages are Chinese and English.  You're on your own, baby!  Dive into the swarming, throbbing, pulsing, crawling and teeming mix!Things to do & RecommendationsThe Peak Tower and its shopping Galleria are the biggest tourist attraction in Hong Kong so don't miss it.Cool off in the Kowloon Park public indoor swimming pool!After that, go see what's happening at the Hong Kong Fringe Club, a non-profit organisation which puts together exhibitions for international artists and performers.Organize sports fans flock to the Hong Kong Stadium, but there's good news for disorganized sportistas too -- Mountain biking is now legal in the parks! Have at it, baby!All this excitement is going to make you hungry. Springtime is traditionally the time to celebrate seafood, summer is for fruits, and winter steams with hot pot soups to keep you warm.The best thing to do is go and find some dim sum. Dozens of plates of tasty small items, sort of like sushi but it's cooked, and the varieties are endless.Since you won't be able to walk down the street without complete and total sensory overload, I'll just whap in the Hong Kong tourist board's guide to dining and leave you to your intuition.Good luck, take it slow and above all -- DON'T SPIT OUT YOUR CHEWING GUM ON THE SIDEWALK. Gum is legal but there's a $500 fine for intentional littering. Enjoy!Text by Steve Smith.

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