Exploring Lung Fu Shan

The 龍虎山生物多樣性 Lung Fu Shan Biodiversity project is showing low levels of activity. I am slowly building my contributions, trying to add a few each day. My initial target is 100 species and then see how I go. This is the 'quiet' season in the sense that insect life is keeping a low profile and in the warmer weather I hope I will have a surge in records. Part of the problem is my lack of familiarity with plants. Identifying them is usually a long and tedious trawl through reference books, asking local experts and relying on generous help from curators.

I have also started exploring different paths to see if there are any areas I need to add to my walking options.

One dilemma is how often to record the common species. It struck me recently that someone looking at the species list / frequency of occurrence would get a very distorted view of what is common on Lung Fu Shan. The scarcer species appear to be more common that the residents. Do I really need to record the bulbuls each day? How often do I need to record the rarities that hang around for weeks on end before departing? So I have started to add a few of the commoner species such as Magpie Robin and will do so at intervals - maybe monthly.

There are so many people who walk through LFS each day. Hikers, dog walkers, birders, very few add their records. Less than a dozen observers. It would be good to see more people participate. My 72 species to date is a miniscule representation of what is there. One possibility is to do a 'moth night' under the supervision of @hkmoths Dr. Roger Kendrick. Now that would be a boost!

A powerpoint guide to Lung Fu Shan in Chinese can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxsdW5nZnVzaGFuaG9uZ2tvbmd8Z3g6MzdkNWFjYzQwOGU3ZDU4Ng

Posted by andrewhardacre andrewhardacre, February 15, 2018 00:59

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Excellent points Andrew! I had forgotten that we have the project 龍虎山生物多樣性 Lung Fu Shan Biodiversity, as well as the one-off Bioblitz projects. I have now added some of my local observations to this project.
Indeed the common species need to be recorded, which is why I recently submitted a red-whiskered bulbul (now, if I can just get a decent picture of a Chinese bulbul...) but if we did upload every observation they would tend to swamp the diversity picture (and we would have no time to pursue the rarities).
The HKU Press guide to Lung Fu Shan ends with a long checklist of birds, presumably all recorded in the area, which suggests we have many more species to document, but appreciate your leading the way!
Stephen

Posted by stephenmatthews about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks Stephen. I have the HKU guide in soft copy and I don't know whether all the species have been recorded in the area. Cinnamon and v. Schrenck's Bittern seem unlikely candidates but possible at the lake, which I have not yet discovered / explored. Similarly Bonelli's Eagle! I viewed this as a list of candidates rather than actuals but I'm sure the HKBWS can tell us.

I have only just discovered the Lung Fu Shan green area page and see all records that tag LFS appear to get captured there so there is an element of duplication. Roger and I have a site earmarked for a moth trapping session later in the year. We think the logistics would work.

I don't think a photo is essential for a record but it seems to be classified as a 'casual observation' without media support. So would not be research grade. I think I will add common species occasionally but not frequently. I added the Cinereous Tit because it was taking a caterpillar :-)

I asked Graham Reels if he had ever done a survey at LFS for odonata but he hasn't. He suggested 3 potential candidates to look for: "You might look on small trickles and seepage for shadowdamsels such as Drepanosticta hongkongensis, Protosticta taipokauensis and Sinosticta ogatai." Worth checking.

Andrew

Posted by andrewhardacre about 2 years ago (Flag)
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r.e. "common" species . . .
always worth recording - maybe add a short note in the description to the effect the species is common in LFS, but not often posted, or add in the observation field "abundance" and post a number to reflect how many of a particular species is seen.
What may be regarded as common today may be tomorrow's "extinct" (think Passenger Pigeon).....

Posted by hkmoths almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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@hkmoths indeed Roger - I have already been noting the relative lack of abundance of Masked Laughingthrush compared to Black-throated. I wonder if one displaces the other although in one spot they seem to co-habit quite happily.

Posted by andrewhardacre almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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I was going to suggest that the 'Most observed species' column would provide a rough hierarchy of abudance. But it doesn't work too well: crested goshawk and wild boar are in the top 5, suggesting a reporting bias in favour of charismatic megafauna!

Posted by stephenmatthews almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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@stephenmatthews I have tried to redress the balance by adding an ant today!

Posted by andrewhardacre almost 2 years ago (Flag)

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