Bird Eco-Art in Hong Kong

This video says about itself:

Birds of Victoria Park, Hong Kong, Winter 2012-3

The stills were shot primarily on a Canon PowerShot SX50 and supplemented by Canon 7D. The park although located next to the bustling shopping centre of Causeway Bay is the winter home for a wide variety of birds. © Bob Thompson

From BirdLife:

27 Oct 2017

Bird Eco-Art in Hong Kong: inspiring a new audience

For thousands of years, nature has inspired artists across the world to create works of breathtaking beauty. And by encouraging people to observe and appreciate nature, we can inspire them to help conserve it. That’s why the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society has introduced an innovative programme which combines conservation and creativity to bring our message to a wider public than ever before.

By Christina YM Chan, Hong Kong Birdwatching Society

Art and nature have always gone hand in hand. In recent decades, movements like Land Art, Earth Art and Environmental Art have swept across Europe, the USA, Japan and Taiwan. These artists use creativity to demonstrate their love of nature and to raise awareness, with some even deploying natural materials and creating their works in the wild.

Since the 1990s, artists have gone one step further and joined forces with conservationists, combining their knowledge to create a new genre, Eco-Art. Eco-Art spans the media, using visual art, installation, music, dance and drama to deliver messages across the whole community, reaching audiences who might not have been interested in hard science.

Over the past 60 years, we at the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society (BirdLife in China (Hong Kong)) have been working hard to realise our vision: People and Birds Together, Nature Forever. Last year, we launched Hong Kong Birds Eco-Art after observing how many artists of all genres had been inspired by the vivid colour and beauty of birds.

We believe that art isn’t just for artists, but for everyone, as everyone has the unique ability to be creative. So we invited members of the public of all backgrounds to join in this innovative education programme, combining birdwatching with art creation. We hoped that the experience of creating art in nature would not only enthuse participants about the birds that inspired them, but also stimulate support for the habitat that they live in.

Our first programme, supported by Hong Kong Railway Company Limited, provided a series of workshops exploring the following skills:

Light Stencils

Many birds overwinter in Hong Kong, or pass by the city on their yearly migration. Factors like climate change and habitat loss mean that some are now rarely seen or have even disappeared. Such species include the Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, Spoon-billed SandpipeEurynorhynchus pygmeus, Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna and Black Stork Ciconia nigra.

By cutting out silhouettes and using a flashlight with long exposure photography, workshop participants allowed the soul and spirit of these lost birds to return to Hong Kong in the form of light.

Floating Platforms

A large number of fishponds in northern Hong Kong fall within a Ramsar site. Due to its ample supply of food, this is an important refueling stop for migratory birds. We selected a fishpond in San Tin as the project site.

The floating platforms were intended as a place for visiting birds to forage, or simply to rest during their long migration. Participants practiced associative thinking in a range of exercises, including writing letters to the birds. They then interpreted their feelings and wishes for the birds into floating platform designs, drawing inspiration from surrounding habitat.

Birds in motion

When we mention bird photography, most people’s thought jump straight to nature documentaries. But bird photographers are also experts at capturing form, colour and the distinctive behavior and unique personalities of the different bird species. In fact, it’s easy to compare bird species to different humans: some act like busy blue-collar workers, some like retired old men, and some are vain and beautiful, captivated by their own reflection!

Participants used continuous shooting and time-lapse photography to capture the quirks and foibles of each bird species. The photographs were then made into flipbooks with a title that encapsulated the character of that particular bird.

Thatcher government plans to deport Hong Kong people to Northern Ireland

This video from Mauritius says about itself:

Demonstration against UK occupation over Chagos

Event: Peaceful march
Date: Wednesday, 7 April, 2010
March co-ordinator: LALIT

To put on the agenda once again the original demands for full decolonization, the re-unification of Mauritius, for base closure and environmental clean-up, and for the right to return and reparations for all Chagossians. What this means is that the march is perhaps the beginning of a new long-term campaign that needs to be built up on these issues.

After the British Harold Wilson government deported all people forcibly from Diego Garcia island in the Chagos archipelago to give place to a United States military (and torture) base … after Wilson’s Conservative successors in the 1970s seriously discussed the possibility of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Northern Ireland by driving all people opposed to the Great Britain-Northern Ireland union violently south across the six counties-twenty-six counties border (recalling the seventeenth century, when the English military said to the Irish people of Ulster: ‘To Connacht, or to hell!’), now this about the later Thatcher administration …

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thatcher files: Ministers considered Hong Kong relocation

Friday 3rd July 2013

THE government seems to have seriously considered a proposal for the entire population of Hong Kong to be shipped lock, stock and barrel to Northern Ireland, newly released documents show.

This hare-brained scheme was suggested during the height of the Troubles by Reading University lecturer Christie Davies, who asserted that when Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997 there would be no future for its 5.5 million inhabitants.

The alternative, he suggested, was to resettle them in a new “city state” to be established between Coleraine and Derry, revitalising the stagnant Northern Ireland economy.

Recently released National Archives files show that the idea sparked a flurry of correspondence in Whitehall.

When details appeared in October 1983, George Fergusson, an official in the Northern Ireland Office, sent a memorandum to a colleague in the Republic of Ireland department of the Foreign Office, declaring: “At this stage, we see real advantages in taking the proposal seriously.”

Among the benefits, he suggested, was that it would help convince the unionist population that the British government was committed to retaining Northern Ireland.

If this moronic scheme would have gone ahead, then it would have run into trouble from bigotry among the most fanatical of unionists in Northern Ireland. These are not just bigoted against pro-republican Northern Irish people. Or against Romanian people. Or against Jews. There is also nasty racism against people of Chinese ancestry there.

Save pangolins, video

This video says about itself:

What is a Pangolin?

20 February 2015

Today is World Pangolin Day! Find out all about the amazing and critically endangered pangolin – the world’s only scaly mammal!

Learn more about ZSL [Zoological Society of London]’s work to protect the pangolin here.

Two tonnes of rare pangolin scales seized in Hong Kong bust: here.

April 27 [2015]–Indonesian National Police Seize Major Shipment of Pangolins, Arrest Smuggler: here.

Rediscovering the pangolin, the world’s most trafficked mammal: here.

The illegal trade in live pangolins, their meat, and their scales in Myanmar is booming says TRAFFIC published in Global Ecology and Conservation. Their report identifies the Special Development Zone of Mong La as a particular concern: here.

Hong Kong butterflies decline

This video says about itself:

Hong Kong Wetland Park spotlights butterflies

30 April 2013

With their fantastic colors and fanciful wings, butterflies are one of nature’s most enticing creatures for photographers and insect lovers. “The Flying Beauties” exhibition is now open at Hong Kong Wetland Park, featuring the most common butterfly species in Hong Kong and specimens from around the world. Visitors can learn more about butterfly anatomy, life cycle, survival strategies and courtship behaviour.

The park will host related activities, aimed at enhancing awareness of butterfly conservation. Wetland Park Manager (Education & Community Services) Josephine Cheng said Wetland Park’s Butterfly Garden offers an ideal habitat for butterflies and is a great spot for butterfly watching. The park has abundant nectar and larval food plants, and recorded 157 species — about 60% of the total number of butterfly species in Hong Kong.

Showcases also offer visitors a rare opportunity to get close-up and observe caterpillars feeding on young leaves. Survival strategies – More than 500 specimens help illustrate a butterfly’s life cycle in the park’s scenic models, including living, eating and mating habits. To avoid predators such as birds, butterflies have special strategies. “Some butterflies can pretend to be some similar but poisonous species, with colorful patterns on their wings, to avoid having their predators eat them, while some other species pretend to be a leaf so that they can hide themselves in the natural environment,” Miss Cheng said.

Special events – Wetland Park is presenting the exhibition from April to October 28. Butterfly specialists will share their knowledge and tips, including techniques for identifying and photographing them, in lectures to be held during the exhibition period. Speakers will also share worldwide hotspots for butterfly watching and the importance of butterfly conservation. Guided tours will teach participants about common species in Hong Kong. The park is also organising a photo collection activity, playgroups and a butterfly cotton bag-making class.

From the South China Morning Post:

Butterfly numbers dip at key Tuen Mun site in Hong Kong

Ernest Kao

Thursday, 12 February, 2015, 12:35am

The number of butterflies spending the winter at a key Tuen Mun site fell to a six-year low this season, possibly due to a changing climate and disruptions to migratory patterns, a study has found.

According to environmental group Green Power, which conducted the study between November and last month, the number of danaidae butterflies at Siu Lang Shui – a wooded former landfill site near Butterfly Beach – dropped over 80 per cent this winter.

From the 230 recorded in 2013-14, the number fell to just 41 this winter, the lowest since the green group’s first survey in the winter of 2009-10.

Danaidae, or milkweed butterflies, are a common subspecies [rather, a family, or subfamily]. They include the crow, tiger and monarch butterflies.

The group’s senior environmental affairs manager, Matthew Sin Kar-wah, said numbers fluctuated from year to year. They hit a high of 5,469 in 2012-13, before dropping again this winter.

It is not known what caused the sudden surge in 2012, nor the reasons for this winter’s drop.

“When everyone was disappointed about the low numbers, it suddenly jumped back up in 2012 and we all thought it was a recovery,” said Sin. “That is why we can’t say for sure whether [this year’s] drop indicates a good or bad trend.”

Two other major sites – Deep Water Bay on Hong Kong Island and Fan Lau on Lantau Island – also saw major drops.

The group suspects two factors are at play. One was a relatively warmer climate in East Asia, which may have deterred the butterflies from flying further to escape harsh winters.

Another possible reason was a change in the environment of stopover points along migratory routes. Rapid urban development on the southern mainland may have altered or even destroyed natural habitats, disrupting migratory patterns, Sin said.