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Hong Kong birdwatching tourism gets major push…

From now on tourists visiting frenetic Hong Kong will be provided with an alternative way to spend their vacation ? a free guide to seeing the surprisingly rich bird life on the islands. Distributed at Hong Kong International Airport, tourist information centres and in schools, so that local children may also benefit from their environment, Hong Kong Bird Watching Map provides visitors with information on 12 of Hong Kong`s premier bird watching sites. This includes individual maps, information on the special birds of each site and detailed directions on how to find the sites using public transport. Although one of the most densely-populated areas on Earth and a mere 1,100 sq km in area, Hong Kong is home to fourteen species in danger of extinction, including the Endangered Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor and Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer. The guide features the jewel in Hong Kong`s birdwatching crown, the famous Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, which has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International and supports important non-breeding populations of several thousand waterbirds. In addition the guide also covers habitats ranging from forested hills to rocky shores, mangroves, fishponds and Hong Kong`s one remaining example of traditionally-managed farmland, Long Valley IBA, highlighting the wonderful diversity of Hong Kong`s natural beauty.The guide has been published by BirdLife`s partner in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, together with the HK Tourism Board and Swarovski. HKBWS Chairman Lam Chiu Ying says: HKBWS are proud to partner with the Map sponsor Swarovski and Hong Kong Tourist Board to promote eco-tourism and enjoyment in Hong Kong`s birds and wild places. We hope this will set a new trend for co-operation between the commercial sector, non-governmental organisations and the administration in raising interest and awareness of Hong Kong`s ecotourism potential.Noritaka Ichida, Director of BirdLife International Asia says: Hong Kong Bird Watching Society have not only created a beautiful and informative guide to Hong Kong`s top birding spots, they have also created a model for co-operation which draws on the particular strengths of different sectors of society. We further believe that birds and their habitat together constitute an invaluable asset for all countries, being an attraction to an increasing number of global travellers.For further information please contact Carrie Ma at Hong Kong Bird Watching Society on +852 2377 4387 or +852 9041 3021. Email: hkbws@hkbws.org or Gareth Gardiner-Jones at BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK on + 44 (0) 1223 277 318 or 07779 018332 (mobile). E-mail: gareth.gardiner@birdlife.org.uk

4th July 2014