Wildlife Night Walk – Tai Po Kau
Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, New Territories
Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve sits between Tai Po and Sha Tin, this site like many other in Hong Kong was cleared of trees in early 20th century. Since 1946 the site has been protected and reforested, allowing the forest to regenerate. Today, Tai Po Kau is one of the most mature secondary forests in Hong Kong.
The dense forest is home to numerous wildlife, a night walk here can produce interesting sightings of Red Muntjac, a small and only member of the deer family in Hong Kong. East Asian Porcupines and Wild Boars are sighted regularly, while certain amount of luck is required to encounter the elusive Leopard Cat.
Up to three species of resident owls can be found in Tai Po Kau, including the Brown Wood Owl, one of our most impressive owl species in Hong Kong. Their calls resonate through the forest at night.
Snakes are quite often encountered here at night, including Mock Vipers, Mountain Watersnake, White-spotted Slug Snake, Many-banded Kraits, and Bamboo Pit-Vipers.
The mountain stream here is home to Hong Kong Newts, during autumn when they start breeding, individuals will often engage in wrestling fights with each other. There is also a good chance for Green Cascade Frogs and Hong Kong Cascade Frogs along these streams.
Other amphibians frequent the little pool within the Tai Po Kau Outdoor Study Centre, including Gunther’s Frogs, Brown Wood Frogs, and Brown Tree Frogs. The endemic Romer’s Tree Frogs can be found deeper within the forest, they are best observed during their breeding season between March to September.
Tai Po Kau is also a well known location to see Fireflies, which breed from March to November, with breeding peaking between May to August. Dwarf Wood Scorpians are also common at Tai Po Kau, with the aid of UV lights we will be able to see these shy nocturnal creatures at their best, as their exoskeleten glows a bright cyan-green under UV lights.