The Mai Po Nature Reserve

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Wetlands are defined as areas of land that are saturated with water year round and take on characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. In China, northwest of Hong Kong, lies the Mai Po Nature Reserve (22°30′ N and 114°02 E′) (Cheung and Wong 2006). The entire Mai Po Nature Reserve (MPNR) encompasses about 2,700 hectares or about 6700 acres. It is home to some of the world’s most endangered water birds. The wetlands support a large number of migratory water birds every year. During the spring thousands of migratory shorebirds stop to rest before continuing north toward their breeding grounds. They return to MPNR during autumn as they fly south toward their traditional wintering ground. MPNR also hosts over 400 different species of insects, 90 species of invertebrates, and 50 different butterfly species (Cheung and Wong 2006).

MPNR is also a huge part of Hong Kong’s freshwater fish farming. Ponds were created (local name gei wai) during the 1920’s and 1960’s to harvest shrimp and fish. Gei wais are great examples showing that wetlands can be managed sustainably (Wong 2003). Placing dike...
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