截至 8/6 22:30，我們已收到超過3188份的聯署，意見已直接傳送到有關部門。
Ms. Li Mei Sheung, Michelle, JP
Director of Leisure, Cultural and Services Department
Dear Ms Li Mei Sheung,
HK Wildlife Forum condemns the Leisure, Cultural and Services Department’s criminal and negligent tree pruning practice at the egretry on Kwong Fuk Road in Tai Po that killed and wounded many egret nestling and fledglings.
On February 6 at 2pm, HK Wildlife Forum learnt that a team of LCSD employees were pruning trees at an egretry on Kwong Fuk Road in Tai Po, and young birds were falling from their nests onto the ground. When questioned by a member of the HK Wildlife Forum, the workers at the scene said dismissively: “We would return the birds onto the trees later” and “we do not believe that workers will prune trees if they are aware that they are bird nests on it”. Yet the pruning went on. Our member’s photos showed that the vehicles parked at the scene were labelled LCSD N.T. East Tree Team and have car plates beginning with AM.
In view of the severity of the incident, the moderator of HK Wildlife Forum arrived at the scene at 4pm to look into the issue and liaise with relevant government departments and organisations. Unfortunately, upon arrival, the team of LCSD employees has already left, leaving barricade tapes and a heaped pile of fallen branches behind. It is believed that the tree pruning was stopped when a district councilor lodged a complaint on site. The moderator found seven egret nests amongst the pruned branches, and three of which contained nestlings. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) rescued a handful of nestlings and sent them to the Wild Animal Rescue Centre at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden. At least three nestlings died on site and there were broken eggs on the ground. Some of the 11 nests perched on neighbouring trees are left in an unsafe, exposed position. The victimized species included Black-capped Night Heron, Little Egret and Great Egret.
The egretry on Kwong Fuk Road in Tai Po is the second largest in Hong Kong, and is listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. According to a 2016 census, the egretry houses 151 nests, which is 12 per cent of the total nests found across the territory. In March 2014, the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) drew flak and criticism when it removed large areas of vines at the egretry in an act to maintain slope safety. With advice from the AFCD, the CEDD ceased their operations to prevent disturbing the egretry during the breeding season.
This tree pruning practice has blatantly broken Cap 170 of Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (WAPO) that protects all birds, bird nest and their eggs, and carries a maximum penalty of HK$100,000 and a year behind bars.
HK Wildlife Forum is outraged that:
1. LCSD pruned trees at the egretry during the breeding season.
2. LCSD is not aware of the existence of the egretry which has been established for more than 20 years and listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
3. Tree workers lack common sense and professional knowledge to cease work when they see and are notified that there are egret nests in the trees.
HK Wildlife Forum urges LCSD to:
1. Explain why the trees needed to be pruned, and why the work must be conducted during the breeding season
2. Explain whether the department is aware that the site is a protected egretry, and if the department knows of the existence of the egretry, why the work is approved.
3. Explain whether the department has provided relevant legal training to its employees including the Cap 170 of Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (WAPO).
4. Explain whether the department has issued guidelines for its employees on wildlife protection measures when conducting tree management, and the procedures needed when bird nest or nestlings are discovered prior to and during tree management.
5. Explain whether there is a communication mechanism between government departments and between government and relevant environmental groups like the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society to ensure tree management goes hand in hand with wildlife protection.
6. Explain whether this incident is the result of human error or maladministration, and how similar incidents can be prevented.
June 6, 2017