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Activity 1.2

3 December, 2014 - 16:05

Please make a visit (your first perhaps of many) to the AFCD's Hong Kong Biodiversity site .

Take a look at Hong Kong Biodiversity AFCD Newsletter Issue No. 16 December 2008 and inspect the feature article entitled 'Current status of dragonflies (Odonata) and their representation in protected areas in Hong Kong' by the Dragonfly Working Group.

This article displays beautiful dragonflies and in Table 1 lists eight new species recorded in Hong Kong since 2003. Now isn't that impressive! I recall an incident once at an EIA presentation on Kau Sai Chau related to the Public Golf Course Development (1994–1995) when a businessman scoffed at ecologists worried about insect surveys, including dragonflies. The businessman thought that dragonflies were of no importance to golf courses or to ecology. But he was very wrong! Not only is Hong Kong famous for its dragonfly diversity, these large, attractive insects play important roles in ecosystems. Dragonflies matter! Primack (2000) reminds us (if we need reminding, as the Kau Sai Chau businessman did) that these large, aquatic insects are so important to wetlands that in Japan teams of teachers, children and parents have built over 500 dragonfly ponds next to schools and parks to provide habitat (and, we should add, enhance ecological health) for these and associated species. Some recent, rather subtle ecological research with tree frogs in Pennsylvania (USA) demonstrated how dragonfly larvae (acting as predators) influenced ecology and natural selection (micro-evolution) in tree frog tadpoles (Relyea 2002).

So, the message here is that our AFCD in Hong Kong are 100% correct in showing concern for and conducting active research on our dragonfly biodiversity and the many other taxonomic groups that contribute to our regional biodiversity.

If you are still near your computer and have Newsletter Issue No. 16 close at hand, scroll down to Table 2. Take a look at the far right hand column, 'No. of sites within protected areas / total no. of sites recorded.' This column illustrates very strongly how important our protected areas (country parks + special areas + sites of special scientific interest) are to biodiversity conservation. You will notice too, I'm sure, that many dragonflies have a local status of UC or R i.e. uncommon or rare.

Please visit at any time you like.

Hint: As you study this module, you may want to keep one browser window or tab open to this module and the other to the AFCD Biodiversity Newsletter Issue site.