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© LASZLO ILYES/Flickr
© LASZLO ILYES/Flickr
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10 Photos of Wonderful Animals You'll Find in Hong Kong

Picture of Sally Gao
Updated: 31 January 2017
Outsiders are often surprised to learn that two thirds of Hong Kong’s territory consists of country parks, beaches and wetland reserves. Combined with the region’s warm climate, it’s no wonder that the natural environment is a wealth of biodiversity. Here are our 10 favorite photos of wildlife you can find in Hong Kong.

Pink Dolphin

Formally known as the Chinese white dolphin, or Sousa chinensis, pink dolphins were first spotted in the waters of Hong Kong over 300 years ago. In recent decades, a combination of pollution and habitat loss have threatened the continued survival of this endearing mammal.

Pink Dolphin | © chem7/Flickr
Pink Dolphin | © chem7/Flickr

Black Faced Spoonbill

This large white wading bird is distinctive for its long, spoon shaped beak. Found only in East Asia, it is a globally endangered species. In the winter, the wetlands and mudflats of Hong Kong serve as crucial roosting sites for these majestic birds.

Black Faced Spoonbill |© Darren Bellerby/Flickr
Black Faced Spoonbill | © Darren Bellerby/Flickr

Masked Palm Civet

This cat like mammal is found in tropical jungles and rainforests throughout China and southeast Asia, and gets its name from the black markings around its eyes, resembling a mask. It spends most of its time sleeping and feeding in trees.

Masked Palm Civet | © Kabacchi/Flickr
Masked Palm Civet | © Kabacchi/Flickr

Red Lacewing Butterfly

Over 200 recorded species of butterflies can be found in Hong Kong, impressively representing more than one tenth of the species found across all of China. That includes the Red Lacewing, which has a striking, reddish-orange pattern that resembles lace.

Beautiful Butterfly | © Eugene Lim/Flickr
Red Lacewing | © Eugene Lim/Flickr

Ring Tailed Lemur

Okay, we’re cheating a bit since this isn’t a native species, but the Ring tailed Lemur is so fluffy and cute that we just had to mention it. You can see a number of these adorable creatures at the Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens. This lemur is an endangered species and native to Madagascar.

Ring Tailed Lemur | © TImOve/Flickr
Ring Tailed Lemur | © TImOve/Flickr

Rhesus Macaque

Wild monkeys and macaques are indigenous to Hong Kong’s woodlands. They are most commonly found in Kam Shan Country Park, which is colloquially known as ‘Monkey Hill,’ and have been known to snatch food from hikers.

Rhesus Maqacue| © LASZLO ILYES/Flickr
Rhesus Macaque | © LASZLO ILYES/Flickr

Purple Heron

The Purple Heron, a migratory waterbird, is regularly seen Hong Kong’s Mai Po Reserve in the autumn, winter and spring. Despite its majestic appearance, it tends to be shy, and prefers to feed under the cover of reeds.

Purple heron | © Charles Lam/Flickr
Purple heron | © Charles Lam/Flickr

Rufous Burrowing Snake

Hong Kong is home to more than 50 snake species, including 14 venomous land snakes. However, the Rufous Burrowing Snake, which is found across the Hong Kong Island, Lautau Island and the New Territories, is harmless.

Rufous Burrowing Snake | © Charles Lam/Flickr
Rufous Burrowing Snake | © Charles Lam/Flickr

Green Turtle

The Green turtle, or Chelonia mydas, is a highly endangered sea turtle that lives in tropical and subtropical waters. Sham Wan, Lamma Island remains one of the few nesting sites left in Southern China. As a result, the Hong Kong government has restricted access to the Sham Wan beach area during nesting season in order to conserve the Green turtle.

Green Turtle | © Thomas Au/Flickr
Green Turtle | © Thomas Au/Flickr

Water Buffalo

Along with cattle, buffalo used to be used as farm animals in Hong Kong, but nowadays, they roam free. In particular, herds of water buffalo are scattered across the wetlands of Lantau Island, lending its sleepy villages an odd but appealing charm.

Water Buffalo | © Charles Lam/Flickr
Water Buffalo | © Charles Lam/Flickr