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Asia HK Mammals Species Profiles

Hong Kong Monkeys | 香港獼猴 – 香港野生動物

There are around 1,800 wild monkeys in Hong Kong, in 30 social troops. None of them are native to Hong Kong. They were all introduced. There are 2 species – the Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta), Long-tailed Macaque or crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis), and their hybrids. Stable populations reside in country parks such as Kam Shan (Monkey Hill), Lion Rock, and Shing Mun.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Macaca (Lacépède, 1799)

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

獼猴, 長尾獼猴, 恆河猴, 西藏短尾猴, 藏酋猴, 馬騮, 野猴

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Africa Americas Asia Australia Europe HK Mammals Species Profiles

Wild Boar – Hong Kong Wildlife | 野豬 – 香港野生動物

The Wild boars (Sus scrofa) is also known as wild swine, common wild pig, or simply wild pig.

Sus scrofa (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Suidae
Genus: Sus
Species: scrofa

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

野豬, 山豬

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Asia HK Mammals Species Profiles

Pallas’s Squirrel – Hong Kong Wildlife | 赤腹松鼠 – 香港野生動物

Squirrels are everywhere in the world, with the exception of Antarctica. These rodents can even be found in the Arctic Circle. But did you know that, like Australia, there were no squirrels in Hong Kong originally? They were introduced.

There are 200 species in the squirrel family (Sciuridae) – Chipmunks, marmots, groundhogs, flying squirrels, prairie dogs, just to name a few. But there is only this species that was introduced to Hong Kong – The Pallas’s squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus)

This species has a wide distribution throughout most of southeastern Asia from India, Bhutan, Myanmar, to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, and southern and eastern China, including Hainan, but just not Hong Kong.

It is the only species of squirrel found in Hong Kong. But there are at least 2 subspecies found in here. They are quite clearly apart from each other – C. e. thai is found on the Hong Kong Island such as Pokfulam and Tai Tam. C. e. styani is found in the New Territories such as Tai Po Kau, Shing Mun and Tai Lam.

The Pallas’s squirrel is also known as the Red-bellied tree squirrel. But do not be confused with the Red-bellied squirrel (Rubrisciurus rubriventer) which is another species of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Callosciurus erythraeus (Pallas, 1779)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Callosciurus
Species: erythraeus

赤腹松鼠, 紅肚松鼠

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Asia HK Mammals Species Profiles

Leopard Cat – Hong Kong Wildlife | 豹貓 – 香港野生動物

The only native cat of Hong Kong – The Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)

Civet cats are not cats, and the South China tigers (Panthera tigris amoyensis) has been locally extinct long ago.

Leopard cats are as big as some larger domestic cats, with a body length of 40-60 cm, and weighing 2-3 kg. Do not be confused with the Bengal cat (Felis catus x Prionailurus bengalensis) in pet trade which is a hybrid that has been developed from wild leopard cats and domestic cats over 5 generations of cross-breeding. Bengal cats do not have the white patch behind the ear and the white streaks between the eyes and the nose of Leopard cats, like the ones in my photos.

Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Prionailurus
Species: bengalensis

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

豹貓, 中國豹貓, 石虎

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Asia HK Mammals Species Profiles

Small Indian Civet – Hong Kong Wildlife | 小靈貓 – 香港野生動物

Civets (or sometimes called civet cats, though they are not cats) are small, lean, mostly nocturnal mammal native to tropical forests of Asia and Africa.

Kopi luwak (also called civet coffee, caphe cut chon, fox-dung coffee, kape alamid) is a coffee that is prepared using coffee cherries that have been eaten and partly digested by the Asian palm civet.

In Hong Kong, there are officially 3 native civets – The Small Indian civet (Viverricula indica taivana), the Masked palm civet (Paguma larvata taivana), and the Large Indian civet (Viverra zibetha). The first two are still common but the last one has not been discovered since the 1970s, hence is considered extirpated.

Viverricula indica (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Viverridae
Genus: Viverricula
Hodgson, 1838
Species: indica

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

小靈貓, 七間狸, 麝香貓

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Asia HK Mammals Species Profiles

Pangolin – Hong Kong Wildlife | 穿山甲 – 香港野生動物

This mammal has a lot in common with the porcupine. It is also nocturnal, slow-moving, and with high protection of the body made out of keratin. But unlike the porcupine, this one is rare.

Extremely rare, critically endangered, and the number 1 most trafficked mammal in the world.

Did you know that we have pangolins in Hong Kong? Pangolins specialize in eating ants and termites with their long sticky tongue. They are the only mammals with scales all over their body. They were thought to be related to armadillos, anteaters, and sloths in the past. But new studies suggest that they are unique mammals not related to anything that looks alike.

There are 8 species of pangolins in the world. They are found in Asia and Africa – 3 species are endangered. Another 3 species are critically endangered, including our native one – The Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).

They used to be a lot more common back in the days. We could find them from time to time. But now you have to be very experienced plus super lucky to just find one, thanks to deforestation and poaching for their meat and scales to be used in traditional medicines. What for? Hysterical crying in children and women thought to be possessed by devils. What do you say?

Manis pentadactyla (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Pholidota
Family: Manidae
Genus: Manis
Subgenus: Manis
Species: pentadactyla

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

 這一種哺乳類動物, 跟箭豬有很多相似的地方。牠也是夜行性動物, 行動緩慢, 身體外層有堅硬角質層保護。但不似箭豬, 這動物非常罕有。

你知道香港有穿山甲嗎? 穿山甲會用牠細長又具黏力的舌頭吃蟻及白蟻, 牠們是唯一一種有鱗片的哺乳類動物。牠們以往經常被誤為與犰狳, 食蟻獸, 或樹懶有關係。但新的研究表示, 牠們是獨立的一個品種, 跟其他表徵相似的動物沒有關係。

在亞洲及非洲一共有8種穿山甲, 其中3種是瀕危品種, 另外3種是極危物種, 包括香港本地的中華穿山甲 (Manis pentadactyla), 是全球走私量最高的動物。

穿山甲在以往比較容易被發現, 我們間中可以看到牠們。多得了森林開伐及非法獵捕, 現在你必須超級幸運才能看到一隻。人們捕捉牠們據說具有藥用價值的肉及鱗片, 到底是為了甚麼? 小兒的睡眠不寧和容易驚醒, 或作驅魔之用。你覺得呢?

Categories
Asia HK Mammals Species Profiles

Porcupine – Hong Kong Wildlife | 箭豬 – 香港野生動物

If you will go on a night hike this is possibly the easiest animal to spot.

The only porcupine species in Hong Kong is the Malayan porcupine (Hystrix brachyura). I found these spiky fellows in Kowloon Peak. It has become obviously more common in the Mid-levels along Blacks Link, Bowen Road, and the Victoria Peak, also in mountains in the New Territories.

Porcupines are not hedgehogs.

No, not Sonic! Hedgehogs are not rodents and there are no native hedgehogs in Hong Kong. Hedgehogs have short quills all over their back. Porcupines are large rodents covered with long quills all over the rear part of the body. The quills are hard and sharp. But they are actually hairs – some modified hairs coated with a lot of keratin.

You may have heard of porcupines shooting spines at predators. Umm.. very exciting! Unfortunately, it’s not true. They cannot shoot quills. But we don’t have to worry about them not protecting themselves well. When there are predators they will raise up their long sharp quills and run backwards towards the predators. When the quills are touched, they can be released and stuck in the predator’s body. Ouch!

What if they are so unlucky to meet many predators the same night. Will they lose all the quills and become a guinea pig? No, they can regrow new quills. Remember what I mentioned? Quills are hairs.

Hystrix brachyura (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Hystricidae
Genus: Hystrix
Species: brachyura

This video is about porcupines and other animals of Hong Kong.

This video is about hedgehogs but I have talked about its difference from porcupines.

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

如果你晚上會到郊外走走, 你可能很容易看到這種動物 – 香港的箭豬品種是馬來箭豬 Hystrix brachyura. 我在九龍半山看到這長滿尖刺的傢伙, 現在也很容易可以於香港島半山區, 沿著布力徑, 寶雲道, 以及山頂及新界一帶山嶺找得到。

箭豬不是刺蝟, 牠們不是超音鼠, 牠們是大型嚙齒目, 身體後半部都是長尖刺。尖刺都非常堅硬及尖銳, 那些其實是毛髮, 是因為角質層包裹著而變成的硬刺。

你也許有聽過前箭豬會放刺攻擊敵人, 唔,  那會令人非常興奮! 可惜那是錯的。牠們不會放刺攻擊, 但我們也不用擔心牠們, 當敵人靠近牠們時 牠們會立即將尖刺豎起, 然後反方向跑到敵人那方。當尖刺碰到任何東西, 都可以脫離牠們身體, 插進敵人的身體。噢呀。

假如牠們有一晚, 不幸同時遇上很多敵人怎麼辦? 牠們會用盡所有刺然後變成天竺鼠嗎? 不用擔心, 牠們的刺都會再長出來。

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Africa Mammals

Lemurs in Madagascar I Encountered

Indri (Indri indri)

Once upon a time, there were extinct lemurs as big as gorillas. Today, the Indri is the largest extant lemur species. But it is critically endangered, too.

Categories
Africa Mammals

Mammals in Madagascar I Encountered

Most of my sightings of mammals in Madagascar are lemurs, obviously. I’d put them in another post – Lemurs in Madagascar I Encountered

Lemurs are attractive but I wouldn’t forget that there were many interesting and lesser-known mammals I encountered in Madagascar.

Lesser hedgehog tenrec (Echinops telfairi)

Surprisingly, the tenrecs are related to sea cows and elephants but not hedgehogs! They look largely similar to hedgehogs of mainland Africa as a result of convergent evolution. Don’t judge an animal by its look. This species is endemic to the southern and southwestern parts of Madagascar. I found most of the tenrecs in Ifaty, southern Madagascar.

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Africa Mammals

World’s Last Male of This Rhino Dies

Kenya

So long, Sudan!

As a dinosaur fan when I was a kid, co-existing with some still living triceratops on earth inside the timeline of my life was hope, heuristic and what made me go on. But now I’m grown and I’ve learned more. It just leaves tears.

After Suni died 4 years ago, Sudan became the last surviving male Northern white rhinoceros in the world. And he died yesterday in Kenya at the age of 45.

The remaining of the subspecies are 2 females, daughter and granddaughter of Sudan. Although Sudan had his sperm frozen and stored and cloning may sound like an option, the subspecies will still probably have to be declared extinct following the West African black rhino and Vietnamese Javan rhino which were both declared extinct 7 years ago.

All of the rhinos gone extinct human witnessed were subspecies. The African rhino that is closer to a full species extinction is the Black rhino.

Just in case if you didn’t know, as the media coverage is mainly on the African species, the rhinos which are facing much more critical situations are the Asian species. There are around 25,000 African rhinos left. Less than 4,000 Asian rhinos are left where the Javan rhino (full species) being one of the most endangered mammals on earth. 2 out of 3 subspecies of the Javan rhino have gone extinct. The last subspecies (Indonesian Javan rhino) population is estimated at around 63 left. The most endangered subspecies of rhino is the Bornean rhino which only around 15 individuals left in total.

Rhinoceros have lived on earth for over 25 million years. Having experienced them gone extinct one by one during merely 7 years within our human lives is just plain devastating, irrecoverably.