Friday, January 23, 2009

Chirixalus romeri (Previously known as Philautus romeri)

Chirixalus romeri is one of the 23 amphibians in Hong Kong which has a very narrow distribution in the world as it is endemic to Hong Kong. It is only found in the outlying islands in Hong Kong including Lantau, Lamma and Po Toi making them very susceptible to human disturbance or urban development. It is listed as endangered in IUCN red list 2008.

Recently there is a slope reinforcement work on Lamma Island that may affect a freshwater marsh holding a population of these tiny fragile frogs. Ex-situ conservation measures were conducted in order to reduce the impact on the natural population. There are several advantages for keeping them in captivity as it would not affect the gene pool and the competition of other population and it helps the scientists to know more about the ecology of the species including the breeding phenology and living conditions.

It's still unknown why Romer's Tree Frog is only distributed on the outlying islands but not Hong Kong Island and the New Terrestories. It's a matter of biogeography including plate tectonics and ice ages. However, too little is known in order to solve this complicated question.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Targets 2009

It's time to set some targets for plants at the start of 2009:

Tsoongiodendron odorum 觀光木
Rehderodendron kwangtungense 廣東木瓜紅
Castanopsis fordii 毛錐
Stauntonia decora 翅野木瓜
Sabia swinhoei 尖葉清風藤
Millettia pachycarpa 厚果崖豆藤
Diospyros tsangii 廷平柿
Hartia villosa 毛折柄茶
Ternstroemia kwangtungensis 廣東厚皮香
Strychnos cathayensis 華馬錢

and also for birds..

Fujian Niltava
Yellow-browed Bunting
Sulphur-breasted Warbler
Bay Woodpecker
Large Grass Warbler
Russet Bush Warbler
Dusky Thrush
Pectoral Sandpiper
Lanceolated Warbler
Greater Scaup
Japanese Robin

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Diospyros tutcheri

Genus Diospyros Dunn (Ebenaceae)
One of the three genera in the family Ebenaceae which is comprised of about 500 species over the world. It is mainly distributed in the tropical region while some extending to the temperate region. There are about 60 species in China where 6 can be found in Hong Kong.

Diospyros tutcheri is widespread in Hong Kong which can be found on Sunset Peak, Tai Mo Shan, Pat Sin Leng and Tai Tam etc. However, it is still one of the rare Diospyros species in Hong Kong while another one, D. tsangii, is even rarer.