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Wildlife in Hong Kong - Animal Arts and Craft Ideas for Children!

4th Apr 2022
Wildlife in Hong Kong - Animal Arts and Craft Ideas for Children!

Amongst towering skyscrapers and modern shiny buildings that seem to dominate Hong Kong, are many different types of Wildlife species and biodiversity, that are unique to Hong Kong.

Many people seem unaware that up to three-quarters of  Hong Kong's land is countryside and nature and within these natural habitats and ecosystems are all kinds of different living organisms.

What Wildlife Exists in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has over 50+ different types of mammal species that people may have come across if they go off-road in Hong Kong (or mammals like wild boars who wander into urban areas). In Hong Kong, often hidden away, some of the animals that can be found include pangolins, civet cats, mongooses, wild boars, porcupines and water buffalo.

People may have seen Macaques, which are Monkeys, that can be found in and around  Kam Shan country park which is now informally known as Monkey Mountain. Currently, it is estimated that the total population of Rhesus Macaque is about 2,000. Aside from Kam Shan Country Park, Macaques can be found at Lion Rock Country Park, Shing Mun Country Park and Tai Po Kau Special Area. They are known to forage through food in rubbish bins and to grab food from unsuspecting hikers! 

Hong Kong also has Civets, such as the Small Indian Civet (Viverricula indica) and gem-faced civet (Paguma larvata), who also tend to be hidden away. Civet cats tend to venture out more at night and cameras have been known to have captured their movements in the Mai Po Nature Reserve.

The type of Porcupine that can be found in Hong Kong is the East Asian or Malayan Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) and this species has been spotted around the Peak.

Hong Kong also has Leopard Cats that are native to Hong Kong yet are rarely seen as they are nocturnal and deep within Hong Kong’s countryside.  Leopard cats are about the size of a large-bodied domestic cat with a body length of 40-60cm and can weigh between 2 to 3 kilograms.

Wild Boars are becoming more and more brazen and are now a common sight in Hong Kong’s built-up areas as the urban and rural lines become more blurred. Wild Boars sometimes scavenge around rubbish tips and bins and are typically seen at the following locations; around the Peak, Repulse and South Bay, Aberdeen Country Park and Lung Fu Shan.

In terms of birds, Hong Kong has more than 550 bird species and the following species are unique to Hong Kong and can be seen across Hong Kong by keen observers and bird watchers; Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Oriental Magpie Robin, Eurasian Magpie, Black-crowned Night Heron and Red-whiskered Bulbul.

Another well-known bird is the Black-faced spoonbill and a quarter of their number can be seen in Hong Kong in the cooler winter months.

There are a lot of snakes in Hong Kong (the reptile …not people..)... about 50 species, including six deadly ones.  The types of snakes found in Hong Kong include the Red-necked keelback and Coral snake.

Pink dolphins

Hong Kong is also famed for its Pink dolphins. These dolphins reside in the Pearl River Estuary, particularly in the waters of Lantau Island near Castle Peak, Tai O, Lung Kwu Chau, Sha Chau Marine Park, and Chek Lap Kok. Recently their numbers have been increasing again due to the drop of shipping during the pandemic and people can normally take boats to see them.

Animal lovers can visit different well-known venues which help to promote animal welfare and biodiversity. These include:

  • Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden - Lam Kam Road

  • Mai Po Nature  - San Tin, Yuen Long

  • Hong Kong Wetland Park - Tin Shui Wai

  • The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens - Albany Road, Central

Why Have Pets?

Many people in Hong Kong have domestic pets and cats and dogs are popular. What are some advantages of having pets like dogs?

  • Dogs increase your mood dramatically and are known to help relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Having a dog improves your physical well-being and encourages a healthy fitness lifestyle as people need to walk their dogs at least three times a day.

How to Be a Responsible Pet Owner?

  • Recognize the commitment of pet ownership - Pets require a lot of time and commitment and potential pet owners should remember this before they decide to get any type of pet.
  • Adopt! Don’t Shop! Remember to adopt (not shop) pets like dogs and cats and many still reside in shelters and looking for new homes.

THEME: Animals Art and Crafts and Games

Idea 1 - Animal Movement Game

Animal movement games engage children in moving their body actively in various ways.

Attached the template for the die you can print out, simply cut it out and glue the edges to make a cube. Ask children/ your child to take turns rolling or throwing it.

Then, everyone will have to impersonate the animal on the top face of the cube. For example, snap like a crocodile, lick like a dog, hop like a frog, swing like a monkey etc.

You can also invite your child/ children to make their own dice or cards by drawing or writing the name of the animals. Dice and cards are not necessary for this game.

This can be a fun playdate game for a group of children too. Here's the reference.

https://www.fatherly.com/play/move-like-an-animal/

Idea 2 - Free the Animals

This tape resist / pipe cleaner / rubber bands animal rescue is simple, fun and easy to set up. All you need is tape or pipe cleaners or rubber bands and some animal figurines. Then ask your child to rescue the animals by getting things off!

This works fine motor skills and builds imagination as they set the stage for their rescue.

Older children can even work on their scissors cutting skills. Let them take the initiative and wrap the animals in paper strips and then allow them to cut the paper off! ( always watch your kids when they are handling the scissors.)

Enjoy!

Idea 3 - Frozen Animals Excavation Sensory

Ice play invites children to use their senses and explore the sensation of cold. Giving children the opportunity to use both liquid, sunshine or other objects to break and melt the ice into water. Discuss the texture, sensation and different ways to rescue the animals from ice.

What to do:

1. Fill a container with water and add a few drops of blue food colouring.

2. Place animals into the container

3. Put the container in the freezer overnight

4. Remove the ice from the container and place it on a tray or tub

5. Invite children to touch

6. Combine the activity with various of materials, like water and salt or hamme

Idea 4 - Animal Tracks  Painting

Dipping animals in paint and watching the colourful tracks they leave behind. Allow children to choose and dip a variety of animals in paint to make tracks. Try with different colours and animals to see their footprints.

What You Need:

  • Paints
  • Large Piece of Paper
  • Plastic Animals
  • Plastic Plate or Paint Palette 

Idea 5 - Move Like An Animal

The ‘Move Like An Animal’ activity encourages children to get up and move around and is suitable for toddlers and preschoolers designed to help build their motor skills and encourage further creativity.

Materials to Play:

  • An open space.
  • Pen, paper, scissors, and a bowl out of which to select the cards.

Instructions:

  • Setup is a one-time deal and totally optional. It involves using a pen, paper, and scissors to make cards labelled with each animal’s movement.
  • Simply cut a sheet of paper into 12 pieces and write a single animal action on each.
  • Adults then can pull out the instruction from the bowl for children to mimic. The instructions can include the following:
  • Gallop Like a Horse
  • Fly Like a Bird
  • Walk Like a Crab
  • Leap Like a Frog
  • Chomp Like An Alligator
  • Hop Like a Bunny
  • Fly Like an Eagle
  • Swim Like a Fish
  • Amble Like a Turtle
  • Trumpet Like an Elephant (Use arm like a trunk)
  • Jump Like a Kangaroo
  • Waddle Like a Penguin
  • Pounce Like a Cat
  • Strut Like a Rooster
  • Peck Like a Chicken
  • Roll Like a Pig
  • Run Like a Cheeta
  • Strike Like a Cobra

More instructions can be found here: https://www.fatherly.com/play/move-like-an-animal/

Idea 6 -  Which Animal Am I?

This interactive game will encourage children to learn about different facts and encourage them to ask questions.

What You Need

  • Animal pictures
  • Safety Pins or String

How to Play

  • Safely place or stick an animal picture onto your child’s back
  • Don't show the child the animal photo placed on their back.
  • The child has to guess what animal has been placed on their back. Children will need to use their English skills to ask “yes” or “no” questions. For example, “Do I live in the ocean?” or “Do I run fast?”

Idea 7: Animal Origami

Older children can try their hand at origami and fold some paper animals.

Aside from being truly hands-on and interactive, origami has quite a few benefits for children. Doing origami utilizes the full use of one’s fingers which in turn improves fine motor skills and helps neurological development.

Students can also craft their own unique shapes so this can help develop their creativity,  imagination and sense of colour.

As origami is not easy to master then it will also help the students build up their levels of patience, concentration and spatial awareness

Instructions on how to guide children to do simple animal origami can be found below:

Why Do Origami?

  • Use of One’s Fingers Improves Fine Motor Skills and Brain Development
  • Develops Imagination and a Sense of Colour
  • Improves Concentration and Spatial Awareness

Idea 8:  Documentary Voice Over

David Attenborough is one of the most famous voices when it comes to nature programmes on television.  Watch him trying to scare a sloth in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRcP62Cz-UA

Get your child to film everyday happenings within your household and have them narrate the events as if it’s part of a nature programme.  It could be a sibling brushing their teeth, a parent eating dinner or even dad holding the remote control!  It’ll be so fun to watch these in years to come!

Humans Share the Planet with A Whole Wide Range of Species so Let's Look After the Planet and their Creature’s Habitats!

By Ivy Wong, Queenie Wu, Neetu Sharma, Christopher Lau

References: