Mai Po Marshes and Inner Deep Bay

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Mai Po Marshes and Inner Deep Bay

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    1,540 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    22°29'N 114°02'E
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Mai Po Marshes and Inner Deep Bay. 04/09/95; Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; 1,540 ha; 22º29'20' N 114º01'44' E. Restricted Area; Site of Special Scientific Interest; Water Quality Control Zone; East Asia-Australasian Flyway Network Site. First designated as a Ramsar site by the United Kingdom, transferred to China in 1997. A shallow coastal bay with extensive intertidal mudflats backed by dwarf mangroves, shrimp and fishponds. The aquaculture activities carried out in Mai Po provide a good example of how artificial or semi-artificial habitats can support a high diversity of wildlife under proper management. Built in the 1930s, the tidal shrimp ponds, known as Gei wais, are drained in rotation throughout the winter and kept drained for a long period of time to attract waterbirds to feed on the remaining small fish or invertebrates. Most of the Gei wais in the site are now managed as roosting and foraging habitats for migratory birds or as freshwater habitats for dragonflies. Thirteen globally threatened species of birds and 17 species of invertebrates new to science are present. The site regularly held over 20% of the global population of Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor between 2007-2012. Another 26 species of waterbirds are found in numbers amounting to more than 1% of their regional population. Research, conservation education, fish farming and recreation are the main activities. Over 40,000 people, of whom 11, 000 are students, visit the reserve annually for birdwatching or informal education visits. Ramsar site no. 750. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Administrative region: 
Hong Kong

  • National legal designation: 
    • Wetland Conservation Area
    • nature reserve
    • restricted area
    • site of special scientific interest
    • water quality controle zone
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)