11 October 2000
KCRC study targets at representative bird species
A spokesman for the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) today (Wednesday) refuted allegations by the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society that it had ignored some 200 species of birds sighted in Long Valley by targeting only 19 species for ecological assessment.
"These 19 species have been selected by our ecological consultants, some of whom are senior members of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, because this is a representative group of birds regularly found in Long Valley and highly dependent on freshwater wetland. These species are also found in other freshwater wetland areas in Hong Kong.
"By striving to create conditions that would satisfy these particularly discerning birds, we are confident that the other species, which are more commonly found and are more adaptable to the environment, will also benefit.
"As part of our mitigation programme to enhance wetland habitats in Long Valley, we will provide permanent water supply and suitable vegetation to maintain 3.8 hectares of year-round wetland.
"Our bird specialists will monitor the success of these measures and make fine-tuning if necessary," he said.
The spokesman said that the Corporation would also create two hectares of temporary wetland to the west of Long Valley prior to commencement of construction.
"This will ensure that birds will have a place to go to during the construction period," he said.
He added that observations by ecological consultants had shown that due to intensified farming in the valley, the number and diversity of migrant birds in the area has diminished.
"The creation of permanent wetland areas managed for wildlife as an integral part of the Spur Line project will make a major contribution to preserving its habitat diversity and will help ensure that Long Valley continues to support its diverse bird community," he said.