Wildlife in the ‘Concrete Jungle’

Many refer to Hong Kong as the 'Concrete Jungle' due to its high density of skyscrapers and buildings in its famous skyline. Wildlife photographer and film-maker Daphne Wong investigates its wild side.

Hong Kong ©Daphne Wong

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, yet spanning only 423 square miles, its biodiversity is surprisingly rich with over 5,600 officially recorded species. About 40% of Hong Kong’s territory is designated as country parks. The wide range of habitats provide a home to many animals.

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Its wetlands in the Deep Bay Area are important wintering grounds for birds such as the globally threatened black-faced spoonbill. Sadly many habitats and species are facing the imminent threat of urbanisation and development, including the the city’s handover mascot the Chinese white dolphin.

About the photographer

Daphne Wong is a wildlife photographer and filmmaker from Hong Kong, and a graduate of Falmouth University’s Marine & Natural History Photography course. She has a passion for everything about nature and the creatures great and small who inhabit it, and strives to tell a story in new angles about the species, an environment, the relationship between the species and its habitat, and humans within the context of nature.

Working in both photography and video, she is deeply committed to telling stories surrounding nature and its conservation through her images, hoping to inspire people to respect, care for and conserve nature.

Following her passion for conservation her current work investigates the decline of the Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong and will be an advocacy documentary due for completion in mid 2018.

View more of Daphne’s photos on her website.

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To view the images as a slideshow, click on the arrows in the top right hand corner of the photos below.

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, yet spanning only 423 square miles, is biodiversity is surprisingly rich with over 5,600 officially recorded species. © Daphne Wong
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, yet spanning only 423 square miles, is biodiversity is surprisingly rich with over 5,600 officially recorded species. © Daphne Wong
A black blister beetle photographed with a wide angle macro lens, placing it in its habitat, a forest. © Daphne Wong
A black blister beetle photographed with a wide angle macro lens, placing it in its habitat, a forest. © Daphne Wong
Hong Kong is one of the best places to view black kites. The bird’s impressive 1.5 metres wingspan allows it to glide through the air effortlessly for hours, changing directions and balancing using its tail. © Daphne Wong
Hong Kong is one of the best places to view black kites. The bird’s impressive 1.5 metres wingspan allows it to glide through the air effortlessly for hours, changing directions and balancing using its tail. © Daphne Wong
The black-faced spoonbill is listed as ‘endangered’ under the IUCN’s Red List, threatened by habitat destruction, pollution, illegal poaching and human disturbance. Thanks to conservation efforts, their numbers are beginning to recover. © Daphne Wong
The black-faced spoonbill is listed as ‘endangered’ under the IUCN’s Red List, threatened by habitat destruction, pollution, illegal poaching and human disturbance. Thanks to conservation efforts, their numbers are beginning to recover. © Daphne Wong
The blue-spotted tiger beetle can often be spotted running along trails. The little hunter uses its incredible speed and short flight to run down prey and evade predators. © Daphne Wong
The blue-spotted tiger beetle can often be spotted running along trails. The little hunter uses its incredible speed and short flight to run down prey and evade predators. © Daphne Wong
The Chinese white dolphin is the city's handover mascot and has suffered a 70% decline in the past 10 years, threatened by coastal development, water pollution, noise pollution and danger of vessel collision. © Daphne Wong
The Chinese white dolphin is the city’s handover mascot and has suffered a 70% decline in the past 10 years, threatened by coastal development, water pollution, noise pollution and danger of vessel collision. © Daphne Wong
A common blue jewel damselfly perching high up on a leaf at Tai Po Kau. Tai Po Kau is also a great place to see dragonflies and damselflies. © Daphne Wong
A common blue jewel damselfly perching high up on a leaf at Tai Po Kau. Tai Po Kau is also a great place to see dragonflies and damselflies. © Daphne Wong
A male common kingfisher photographed just outside Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong, a common sight along streams and at wetlands, including fishponds. © Daphne Wong
A male common kingfisher photographed just outside Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong, a common sight along streams and at wetlands, including fishponds. © Daphne Wong
Crimson dropwing dragonfly on its perch, raising its abdomen vertically towards the sun repeatedly to reduce heat uptake under the hot morning sun. © Daphne Wong
Crimson dropwing dragonfly on its perch, raising its abdomen vertically towards the sun repeatedly to reduce heat uptake under the hot morning sun. © Daphne Wong
Love is in the Air - the dragonflies were very active over the rice paddy fields in Long Valley during a warm winter. This mating pair was 'in copula', forming a heart shape mid air. © Daphne Wong
Love is in the Air – the dragonflies were very active over the rice paddy fields in Long Valley during a warm winter. This mating pair was ‘in copula’, forming a heart shape mid air. © Daphne Wong
A female Epocilla calcarta playing hide and seek in a bush at Tsiu Hang Special Area, Sai Kung. © Daphne Wong
A female Epocilla calcarta playing hide and seek in a bush at Tsiu Hang Special Area, Sai Kung. © Daphne Wong
A female Siberian stonechat sat within the long grass against the setting sun in Long Valley, Hong Kong. She was one of the many stonechats hunting for worms within rice paddies and vegetable patches. © Daphne Wong
A female Siberian stonechat sat within the long grass against the setting sun in Long Valley, Hong Kong. She was one of the many stonechats hunting for worms within rice paddies and vegetable patches. © Daphne Wong
Male fiddler crabs, during mating season, waves their major claws in the air - trying to catch the attention of a female who was busy eating © Daphne Wong
Male fiddler crabs, during mating season, waves their major claws in the air – trying to catch the attention of a female who was busy eating © Daphne Wong
Hidden within the concrete slabs on the podium of a residential building in Hong Kong was this stunningly colourful millipede. © Daphne Wong
Hidden within the concrete slabs on the podium of a residential building in Hong Kong was this stunningly colourful millipede. © Daphne Wong
Tai Po Kau is one of the best places in Hong Kong to see forest birds. Here is a male orange-bellied leafbird taking a break between its acrobatic displays of sipping nectar in flowers. © Daphne Wong
Tai Po Kau is one of the best places in Hong Kong to see forest birds. Here is a male orange-bellied leafbird taking a break between its acrobatic displays of sipping nectar in flowers. © Daphne Wong
Pale awlet butterfly photographed at Sai Kung. The little skipper has a yellow furry body matched with blue and white striped wings and abdomen, and likes to perch under leaves, making them hard to spot. © Daphne Wong
Pale awlet butterfly photographed at Sai Kung. The little skipper has a yellow furry body matched with blue and white striped wings and abdomen, and likes to perch under leaves, making them hard to spot. © Daphne Wong
Avocets have distinctive long up-curved beaks, a special adaption to skim mud and water to search for prey. The pied avocet is an abundant winter visitor in Hong Kong. © Daphne Wong
Avocets have distinctive long up-curved beaks, a special adaption to skim mud and water to search for prey. The pied avocet is an abundant winter visitor in Hong Kong. © Daphne Wong
Rhesus Macaque are the most widespread macaque species in Hong Kong. They are not descendants of the native macaques, they were introduced to control the growth of aStrychnos plant which contains poisonous alkaloids, thought to be hazardous to humans if its fruits were to fall into the reservoirs.
Rhesus macaque are the most widespread macaque species in Hong Kong. They are not descendants of the native macaques, they were introduced to control the growth of a Strychnos plant which contains poisonous alkaloids, thought to be hazardous to humans if its fruits were to fall into the reservoirs. © Daphne Wong
Living in harmony - a tree flitter butterfly sharing a flower with a katydid nymph, photographed at Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve. © Daphne Wong
Living in harmony – a tree flitter butterfly sharing a flower with a katydid nymph, photographed at Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve. © Daphne Wong
Lynx spider with a very big lunch – an Amata sperbius, found in Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve. © Daphne Wong
Lynx spider with a very big lunch – an Amata sperbius, found in Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve. © Daphne Wong