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            15 July 2015

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            Number of Endangered Wading Bird Rises after Conservation: Census

            2019-04-12 Download Print Comment
            An international census showed 4,463 black-faced spoonbills were recorded, up 13 percent from the number recorded a year ago, a conservation group said on Thursday.
             
            The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) coordinated the International Black-faced Spoonbill Census 2019 in January.
             
            Census result of the past 25 years showed that the population of the endangered bird was steadily rising.
             
            Yu Yat-tung, research manager of HKBWS, said black-faced spoonbill may be classified as a globally "vulnerable" species from "endangered" under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List in the near future.
             
            "This is an extremely rare but encouraging case in bird conservation," Yu said, but stressed that it was still considered to be at high risk of unnatural extinction, so conservation, research and monitoring were still needed.
             
            The census was first carried out since 1994, and has covered more than 100 sites all over the world, with the help of senior birdwatchers, conservationists, researchers, and ornithologists.
             
            The bird's conservation was first launched in the early 1990s, and has undergone a long way of research, tracking, advocating, lobbying and public education as well as international collaboration, Yu said.
             
            According to the WWF Hong Kong, the black-faced spoonbill is only found in East Asia. It is a large white wading bird with a distinctively shaped beak looking like a spoon, or a "pi pa" (Chinese musical instrument), and the facial skin is bare and black in color - hence its name in Chinese. It stands about 76 cm high and weighs about 1 kg.
             
            The black-faced spoonbill feeds on fish and shrimps in shallow water, mainly in coastal areas. Yet most of the East Asian coast is threatened by high human populations and associated agricultural and industrial activities, resulting in habitat destruction and pollution drop.
             
            On average, 20 percent of the global black-faced spoonbill population in any given year can be found wintering in Hong Kong, according to the WWF Hong Kong.
             
            Source: Xinhua
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