Butterflies beat northern cold

Central Station | 12 Jan 2021

More butterflies have chosen Hong Kong for overwintering, with Deep Water Bay becoming the hot spot for the species to spend the winter.

Conservation group Green Power has studied the movements of overwintering butterflies, called danaids, from October to this month.

Butterflies flock and migrate from the cold areas in the north every October. Due to the low temperatures, more have flown further south to spend winter in Hong Kong.

The research has found that most danaids have flown to Deep Water Bay - 1,566, the highest number in 12 years.

"Butterflies were found in a different location at Deep Water Bay this year, from an easily observable place in the middle upstream of the creeks, to a more hidden spot that is far away from the river," said Matthew Sin Kar-wah, senior environmental affairs manager at Green Power.

He said the trees away from the rivers attract danaids and the hidden spots away from humans help butterflies to cluster. A total of 308 picked Fan Lau on Lantau, while 195 have been seen in Tuen Mun Shiu Leng Shui and 98 at Shui Hau Village, also on Lantau.

The group discovered two more butterfly overwintering sites in December - 838 danaids in Tai Lam Country Park and 553 in the Southern District.

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