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Plan that Hong Kong trip soon (1 Viewer)

scampo

Steve Campsall
Hmm - with luck, as there will be no shopping on those small islands, the wild animals will be allowed simply to get on with their lives without disturbance.

I always worry about "eco-tourists", something of a contradiction in terms - a kind of oxymoron.
 

Charles Harper

Régisseur
I agree, Steve, any tourism (present company excepted, of course) impacts negatively, but at least most eco-tourists hesitate before flipping cigarette butts into the underbrush or throwing rocks at the animals. Some awareness is awakened... I hope.
 

scampo

Steve Campsall
I'd like to think so, Charles - although, if it is an example, the recent Galapagos debate made anything but encouraging reading.
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
Hong Kong used to be THE place to go in the Far East, for waders especially, but it now seems to be far less in fashion. I went on an organised tour back in the early nineties and was really impressed with Mai Po, even though we managed to miss a Spoon-billed Sandpiper. I would love to go back if I could still afford it.

I think that now other areas have overtaken Hong Kong as attractive destinations for western birders: Korea was hardly on the birding map then, and nor was Taiwan. One British tour company recently had to abandon plans for a joint Taiwan and Hong Kong tour due to lack of bookings; they replaced it with Taiwan and Japan and had no problem.

Steve
 

Beverlybaynes

Mod Squad
Well, DUH! Thanks, Katy!

This is so disheartening. Add this to way the Chinese seem determined to ignore their natural environment on the mainland . . . .
 

Katy Penland

Well-known member
Charles Harper said:
I agree, Steve, any tourism (present company excepted, of course) impacts negatively, but at least most eco-tourists hesitate before flipping cigarette butts into the underbrush or throwing rocks at the animals. Some awareness is awakened... I hope.
I don't feel that "any tourism impacts negatively" -- it doesn't have to, it's all dependent on how the areas visited are managed. I think if we take too narrow a view of how we human observers negatively impact any part of the natural world, we'd all be required to give up our fossil-fuel-burning modes of transportation in toto. Keeping boardwalks, paths and other forms of accessibility open in reserves seems pretty harmless by comparison. And, of course, keeping reserves staffed to prevent those cigarette butts from getting chucked over the railing and to educate the visiting public is equally important.

In the marine mammal world, whale watching is encouraged as a way to wean countries off whaling since more money can be had through tourism dollars to look at live animals than can be generated by killing them and making what's left over after sushi into pet food. Unfortunately, because this argument has validity, there are those moderates and pro-whalers who are now saying that whale watching has extremely negative impacts on the health of the species being watched. And there is *some* truth to this in places where there are no regulations governing how many boats can be on any given individual or group of individuals at any one time or throughout the day. It's all in the management of the resource.

This whale of an example is not directly analogous to the birding world, I realize, but it's the overall approach to management of natural resources -- dare I say it, their "sustainable use" -- that is at issue. The human/wildlife interface is always going to be there. It's how we manage that interface that is important. IMHO, of course! ;)
 

scampo

Steve Campsall
Many very good points - but we could also, for some of the time and in some of the world, stop pretending its ours to 'manage' and, instead, just leave it to nature as wilderness.

We are so unbelievably anthropocentric, it's not surprising some folk become incensed with what we 'do' to nature.
 

Katy Penland

Well-known member
scampo said:
Many very good points - but we could also, for some of the time and in some of the world, stop pretending its ours to 'manage' and, instead, just leave it to nature as wilderness.

We are so unbelievably anthropocentric, it's not surprising some folk become incensed with what we 'do' to nature.
No disagreement here. Unfortunately, if we don't "manage" our resources (and I honestly use that term advisedly), and use that management to educate the next generation, there won't be anything left of the natural world to leave alone. I'm certainly no "(hu)man(kind) has dominion over the earth" advocate, but I also don't feel humans should be excluded from any equation. We are as much a part of the natural landscape as any wild creature. Too bad we have a propensity for altering that landscape instead of learning to live within its limitations.
 

samuel walker

It's OK to be a little blue........
I thought America stood alone in the way we trash our habitats and the rest of the world maintained cultures more agreeable to wildlife.Money rules and nature pays
Sam
 

scampo

Steve Campsall
Something like that, Sam - but, no, you're not quite alone.

BTW - Katy - what a lovely sunset shot you use for your signature.
 

Katy Penland

Well-known member
scampo said:
BTW - Katy - what a lovely sunset shot you use for your signature.

Thanks very much, Steve! It was taken from our boat moored inside Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California (a gray whale calving lagoon). Unfortunately, the avatar's too small to show the line of brown pelicans bisecting the photo from lower left to upper right as they headed to their nightly roost. I thought the colors of the sunset looked very "Arizona-ish." :)
 

Katy Penland

Well-known member
Hey, you can go, too! It's a wonderful, 9-day trip that goes every year out of San Diego. They stop at two offshore islands on the way to San Ignacio, anchor in the lagoon proper for 2 1/2 days, and then you stop at two different islands going back up the coast to San Diego. The last time I went, we had 102 bird species, I've forgotten how many species of cetacean and pinniped, and the best meals I've had outside of cruise lines (chefs on board, not cooks).

The cool thing about the trip is not just the gray whales that come up to your little pangas to be "petted" once you're inside the lagoon, but the side trips off into mangroves and salt flats and beaches, the hikes on the islands, all of which have different geographic, flora and fauna attributes, and the First Class accommodations really make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They always have experts on board for birds, astronomy, geology, botany and marine mammals. It's just a whole lot of fun all the way around!

Oh, I'm sorry. Was that too much information? :bounce:
 

scampo

Steve Campsall
" Oh, I'm sorry. Was that too much information? ..."

Not too much, Katy... but it's not reduced my envy. I'm afraid a teacher's salary over here won't stretch to such a luxury - not with two sons' education bills to face, on top!
 

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