Reply To: New Moth, Hong Kong Endemic, under immediate threat from habitat loss


Article by Cheung Chi-fai in today's S China Morning Post includes:

An endangered moth that is unique to Hong Kong could stand in the way of plans for a small-house development in an ecologically sensitive part of Sai Kung that some residents say should not be allowed for fear of marine pollution.

The mangrove China-mark moth was sighted last April in the Hoi Ha marine park, where planning permission has been sought for a dozen houses, two of which have received conditional approval, in a development that could grow to 100 houses.

Moth specialist Dr Roger Kendrick, who made the discovery, said the project could wipe out the only known colony in the world of the fragile species.

His concerns are the latest to be expressed about the development, which also include possible flooding from changes to the coastline, pollution from septic tanks and destruction of the moths' habitat.

The [water protection] law – listed in a technical memorandum on drainage discharge – says no new effluent should be allowed within 100 metres of a site of special scientific interest. Hoi Ha was designated as such site since 1989 and became a marine park in 1996 in recognition of its rich coral habitats.