Categories
Hong Kong

Hong Kong Wildlife You May Encounter On A Hike

Hikers “saving” baby owls from naturally predated by a snake was publicly praised by pet welfare groups… and “animal lovers”.

The virus has brought tons of people to hiking trails all of a sudden. Good for them. But for the environment, the negative impact is escalating.

I believe most hikers have a good heart. Many are good pet owners. But they may have to learn a bit about wildlife. Here’s my 2¢.

Hong Kong is small but surprisingly rich in biodiversity. This small concrete jungle has the world’s largest owl, the most trafficked mammal, the second-largest lizard, and all that.

Native species of Hong Kong I mentioned in this video:
今天我們探討的是香港本土的物種:
Flatid planthopper, White moth bug, Lawana imitata
白蛾蠟蟬
Giant golden orb-weaving spider, Nephila pilipes
斑絡新婦, 人面蜘蛛
Changeable Lizard, Calotes versicolor
變色樹蜥
Bamboo pit viper,  White-lipped pit viper, Trimeresurus albolabris
青竹蛇, 竹葉青
Chinese three-striped box turtle, Golden coin turtle, Cuora trifasciata
三線閉殼龜, 金錢龜
Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas 
綠海龜
Hong Kong Newt, Paramesotriton hongkongensis
香港瘰螈
Spotted narrow-mouthed frog, Kalophrynus pleurostigma
花细狹口蛙
Red-billed blue magpie, Urocissa erythroryncha
紅嘴藍鵲
Eurasian eagle-owl, Bubo bubo
雕鴞
Malayan porcupine, Hystrix brachyura
馬來箭豬
Chinese pangolin, Manis pentadactyla
穿山甲
Dusky frillgoby, Bathygobius fuscus
深鰕虎魚
Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica
日本鰻 
Hong Kong camellia, Camellia hongkongensis
香港茶 
Bauhinia x blakeana, Hong Kong orchid tree
洋紫荊 

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife

Categories
Africa

Wild Elephant’s Foot Plants in Isalo, Madagascar

Yes, this is one of the rare succulents “trending” recently especially in Asia. Keeping them in pots at home is a really good hobby. Finding wild ones in their natural habits is just on another level.

Even photos of wild ones are not as easy to find as most other objects.

Here is one of the wild elephant’s foot plants I came across in Isalo, Madagascar.

It looks like Pachypodium rosulatum var. gracilius to me (but I have not studied botany so please let me know if it’s wrong)

All my field trips were fauna-focused hence I didn’t have much time to spend on the plants in Madagascar. (The animals kept me busy all the time) But I was just amazed by this unique plant I almost walked past by.

Also, the animals I studied rely largely on their unique habitats in Madagascar. Gotta have an idea about these interesting plants.

Only after I climbed up this mountain I could be eligible to comment on that mountain behind me.

Isalo is in the southwestern corner of the Province of Fianarantsoa, in the Ihorombe region. It is 720 km away from Madagascar’s capital city (Antananarivo). Not super far but due to road conditions it took me 3 full days to only get there. It’s for sure worth it.

Being completely different from the rest of Madagascar, Isalo is arid and hot, filled with deep canyons, sandstone domes, and flat-topped mountains.

Not as many animals here comparing to the rest of Madagascar. Mostly lemurs, desert lizards, boas, scorpions, and birds. Landscape and plants are uniquely amazing though. Over 70% of plants are endemic. This is exactly where the Elephant’s foot plants in my photos were.

(象牙宮 塊根植物 多肉植物)

Categories
Americas Hong Kong Universal

Color Is The New Forbidden Fruit

From yellow vs blue in Hong Kong to black vs white in the States.

A world like now everything is politics, things pure as colors have become risky words, is keeping people to think less, speak less, and act less.

Categories
Asia Hong Kong

Interracial Love Also Occurs In Nature

Interracial love also occurs in nature, though rare — Hong Kong newts (Paramesotriton hongkongensis) and Banded bullfrogs (Kaloula pulchra) co-exist in their natural habitats. They coulda been fighting for food. But they chose to form an alliance to defend each other as one.

Even species ain’t no matter. Why races?

Categories
Africa Americas Universal

How Could Black Lives Not Matter?

Africa was the birth-place of Homo sapiens.

Diamond, sugar, salt, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum and cocoa beans, coffee – All happiness in life is from Africa!

#ICantBreathe #BlackLivesMatter
Categories
Hong Kong

Aliens In Hong Kong

Believe it or not? Aliens are everywhere in Hong Kong. There must be some around you. Of course, I am talking about alien species – the species introduced outside their original distributions. From house cockroaches, apple snails, fire ants, to vertebrate as below. These are all not native to Hong Kong.

Asian water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)

Whether if the Water monitor (Varanus salvator) is a native or introduced species is not confirmed. But many believe it is an introduced species.

Over 10-12 species of freshwater turtles can be found in the wild in Hong Kong. But only 5 of them are native.

  • Yellow pond turtle (Mauremys mutica)
  • Chinese stripe-necked turtle (Ocadia sinensis)
  • Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
  • Alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)
  • Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Also the Chinese box turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) and Amboina box turtle (Cuora amboinensis)

Birds introduced to Hong Kong includes:

  • Rock pigeon (Columba livia),
  • Asian emerald dove (Chalcophaps indica),
  • Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri),
  • Azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyanus),
  • House crow (Corvus splendens),
  • Huet’s fulvetta (Alcippe hueti),
  • Silver-eared mesia (Leiothrix argentauris),
  • Common myna (Acridotheres tristis)

And the critically endangered Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)

Mammals introduced to Hong Kong includes:

  • Domestic cat,
  • Domestic dog,
  • Domestic ox,
  • Domestic water buffalo,
  • Long-tailed macaque,

And the only squirrel species in here – the Pallas’s squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus)

Categories
Africa Universal

Wild Ploughshare Tortoise Is The Rarest Species I’ve Ever Found

Today is Endangered Species Day. (瀕危物種日)

The rarest animal I’ve ever found was the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). Only around 20 of them are in the wild. But that’s a subspecies of leopards. In terms of a full species, this is the rarest one in my experience.

Let me introduce the most endangered species I’ve ever found in the wild – the Ploughshare Tortoise of Madagascar.

It is also called Angonoka tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora).

Those big organizations will only tell you about the tigers, rhinos, marine mammals, etc. Probably it’s all about marketing which I have zero idea about.

Let me do something for this species which is TONS more endangered. Help me share this and spread the love before it goes extinct which could happen tomorrow or any day.

If you know of anyone on earth who’s ever seen one of these tortoises in the wild, definitely let me know!

Categories
Universal

What Sort Of Naturalist Am I?

naturalist
/ˈnatʃ(ə)rəlɪst/
noun
1. an expert in or student of natural history.
2. a person who practises naturalism in art or literature.

1. Yes, I studied the natural history of animals
2. Umm.. depends

Already too much compromise living in a society where getting your own body naked outside is a misbehavior. Born naked. Gone naked. I never sleep clothed.

Categories
Africa Universal

Big Cats Roaming Freely In The Wild May Not Always Be The Lucky Ones

Everyone is talking about “Tiger King”. Now you probably have an idea how big cats are kept in captivity. You may think that they could have a better life if they were in their natural habitats. I have spent a lot of time in Africa, and I did not always see a paradise.

This is a lucky one rescued from canned hunting (being kept in a confined, fenced-in area for trophy hunting which is surprisingly legal in some African countries). ⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I don’t know what to say. Nowadays we can’t just seem to tell our kids it’s okay to do anything they like as long as it’s not illegal. There are so many ridiculously wrong activities that are legal, such as canned hunting as an entertainment or a sport. ⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Legality is not a guide for morality.

Categories
Universal

The Most Misunderstood Hairstyle

They say dreadlocks are ghetto. They say guys with long hair and beard are homeless. They say reptiles are lowlifes. They call others lower to make themselves sound like upper.

They keep mocking and laughing at you until you show them how bright you’re shining. Matter of fact, I couldn’t even care less. Didn’t even care to show. They just couldn’t get their eyes off and pick up their jaws from the floor. Stereotyping is dated.

Hairs are versatile. Don’t restrict them for what the society tells you. Losing yourself in the moment you own is the subtle art of giving zero fig.

Could’ve easily cut my hair and made myself look “decent” and prevent every mother’s son of em from eyeballing and commenting on my real, natural hair. But it’s about one’s rights and freedoms. The irony is that people who amputate naturally growing body parts criticize the few who preserve and cultivate the most radically given gift.

Ain’t no compromiser. Letting my hair go natural. A lion without his man is a kitten. Locs can run wild yet classy. If you don’t see the naturalness check your eyes, if not brain.