29 June 2003
KCRC wetland is ideal habitat for new dragonfly visitor
The Kam Tin wetland along KCR West Rail at Yuen Long is now home to a species of dragonfly never before seen in Hong Kong — the Dancing Dropwing (Trithemis pallidinervis).
Re-created by Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) during the construction of the West Rail project, the wetland is an ideal habitat for the Dancing Dropwing, which prefers broad expanses of open water with an abundance of tall offshore vegetation. Up to ten individuals have been spotted in one day, and it is believed there are more in the area.
Dancing Dropwings are found in many parts of Asia, such as India, Sri Lanka, China and Southeast Asia. Known to travel long distances by drifting with the prevailing air currents, Kam Tin’s new residents could have come from the Philippines or elsewhere in the region.
The work to create the new wetlands in Kam Tin began in October 2001. Phase one, which covers five hectares was completed in September 2002, and the remaining seven hectares in phase two are scheduled for completion in August 2003.
The scope of work includes the construction of seasonal marshes, permanent marshes, terrestrial marshes and permanent ponds, which will provide breeding, nesting and foraging habitats for rare and protected species of birds and creatures.
According to Mr Vic McNally, KCRC Environmental Manager: "At West Rail, we are striving for the harmonious co-existence of ecologically high-value habitats with our world-class railway. Completion of the wetland creation work is not the end of our environmental efforts. In fact, it is the beginning."
KCR West Rail recreating a 12-hectare Habitat Compensation Area in Kam Tin.
Dancing Dropwing (Trithemis pallidinervis), a species of dragonfly which has never been found in Hong Kong before, made the KCR West Rail Habitat Compensation Area their home.