As well as decades of abandonment and vandalism of its environment, Sha Lo Tung also suffered the impact of inappropriate human activities and invasive plants. While we reconstruct the wetland, we must also focus on four major issues and work on the solutions.

Threats to Sha Lo Tung:Off-road

Off-road Vehicles

Extensive fields in Sha Lo Tung have attracted many off-road vehicle lovers. However, when they race among the wetland and farmlands, they not only destroy vegetations but also the irrigation facilities from the past generations. When the original wetland are damaged, exotic plants can invade and take water away from the soil, further drying up the wetland. Eventually the whole wetland system is ruined.
Threats to Sha Lo Tung:Illegal Poaching

Illegal Poaching

Sha Lo Tung is home to many rare species, including rare freshwater fish, amphibians and reptiles. They attract people who want to make a profit. Animal traps are often found in the streams.
Threats to Sha Lo Tung:Invasive Alien Plants

Invasive Alien Plants

Mile-a-minute Weed (Mikania micrantha) and Gairo Morning Glory (Ipomoea cairica) are examples of common invasive alien species in Sha Lo Tung. They grow rapidly, stifling the native species and damage the unique wetland ecology. In the past, Sha Lo Tung was full of native wetland vegetation, but with off-road vehicles racing around, frequent hill fires, and improper cultivation attempts, native wetland vegetation has shrunk significantly, favouring the invasion of alien plant species and thus destroying the wetland.
Threats to Sha Lo Tung:Hill Fires

Hill Fires

There are many ancestral graves in Sha Lo Tung due to the long history of its villages. Grave sweepers are used to burning weeds around the graves. This, as well as other ceremonial practices, might leave tinder and cause hill fires. These fires can instantly destroy extensive vegetation and disturb the natural succession of woodlands. Without the protection of vegetation, soil runoff increases and enhances siltation in the streams. Hence, wetland ecology in Sha Lo Tung is further damaged.
Monitor and patrol in Sha Lo Tung regularly

Our Work

  • Discuss with government departments the installation of a barrier, to prevent off-road vehicles from entering and damaging the Sha Lo Tung valley;
  • Install roadside warning signs, to prevent off-road vehicles entering wetland and marshes;
  • Remove animal traps frequently;
  • Remove weeds around hill fire black spots, e.g. around graves, to create fire barriers and prevent hill fires;
  • Remove invasive species and monitor their distribution and growth;
  • Enhance communication with villagers and farmers to avoid the introduction of potentially invasive plant species into Sha Lo Tung;
  • Work with villagers to improve patrolling and reporting of environmentally damaging behaviours; and
  • Install surveillance cameras to monitor off-road vehicles, illegal poaching and other damaging behaviour.