19 March 2019
A man is seen poking the grass and bushes with a stick at Shing Mun Reservoir, apparently in search of frogs. Photo: YouTube
A man is seen poking the grass and bushes with a stick at Shing Mun Reservoir, apparently in search of frogs. Photo: YouTube

AFCD alerted on illegal frog catchers at Tsuen Wan reservoir

Hong Kong netizens urged authorities to strictly enforce the law after several people were seen illegally catching frogs at a protected reservoir in Tsuen Wan.

A netizen calling himself Ken Classic uploaded a video clip to YouTube showing two men using tools to poke the grass and bushes at Shing Mun Reservoir, apparently in search of frogs, Apple Daily reports.

One of the two men got angry and shouted at the netizen after he became aware that they were being filmed.

Ken Classic said in a Facebook post that he saw more than 10 frogs inside the men’s net, adding that he had given a copy of the video clip to staff in a nearby country park visitor center, which is under the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD).

An AFCD spokesman confirmed it had received the clip and said it had sent staff to the reservoir to inspect the area, but they came back without seeing the frog catchers.

Under the Country Parks and Special Areas Regulations, no person shall carry, manage or use any trap devices or guns within a country park or special area without written permit from relevant authorities.

The reservoir, aside from being a source of fresh water supply to the city, is home to many species of butterflies and migratory birds. It has been listed as a special area by the government.

Ken Ching, director of Eco-education and Resources Center, told news website Topick that the two men were probably trying to catch frogs released by others as part of a religious practice, and resell them later.

He said he is worried the frogs might jeopardize the ecology of the place where they were released should they carry virus or die after not being able to adapt to the local environment.

Michael Lau Wai-neng, WWF-Hong Kong deputy director, also voiced concern that the frogs, whether they local or foreign species, might destroy the ecological balance, although he believes the water in the reservoir will not be adversely affected.

The AFCD promised to pay attention to similar situations when patrolling the country parks and enforce the law if they see any violations.

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