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The year of the ox

Kung Hei Fat Choi to all my daily newsletter subscribers. Wishing you all happiness, health and wealth for this new year.

What is an Ox: Put simply, an ox (or oxen if you're talking about more than one), is any cattle over four years of age that has been trained to do work. Most often they are steers (castrated male cattle). Any breed of cattle can be trained to become an ox, although some breeds are better suited to it than others.

This is actually a Water Buffalo. Did you know that they control vegetation height, keeping an open wetland habitat, which is great for many waterbirds?

So whats the difference? A buffalo is larger and covered in more hair than an ox. And an ox is the male of the mammal cow. ... A buffalo is also a male but not castrated. The buffalo is a bovine animal and used mostly as livestock

Just a note from WWF who manage Mai Po where this animal was found:

As a haven for tens of thousands of migratory waterbirds each year, Mai Po Nature Reserve and the surrounding Inner Deep Bay wetlands sets a prime example of conservation success for regional wetlands, and offers visitors a close look at wildlife and a chance to appreciate nature’s beauty.

Located on the northwestern corner of Hong Kong, the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay wetlands have been recognised as a Wetland of International Importance under the prestigious Ramsar Convention since 1995. The 1,500-hectare area serves as a key way station and wintering site along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) along which 50 million migratory waterbirds travel each year.

The six main habitats in Mai Po Nature Reserve and the surrounding area – gei wai, freshwater pondsinter-tidal mudflats, mangroves, reedbeds and fishponds – are home to a host of wildlife.

An infrastructure upgrade and improvement programme is currently underway at Mai Po Nature Reserve, creating universal access and providing opportunities to empower people from different backgrounds and all sectors of society with important knowledge about wetland and environmental protection as well as sustainable development.

The most extensive of these works is funded by a HK$347.86 million grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The project has been in the planning stages since 2016. Construction kicked off on 10 September 2018, with the start of internal renovations at the Mai Po Education Centre.

The project will create an enhanced exhibition area with interactive learning for young people, wet/dry laboratories that offer students and researchers the opportunity to interact with flora and fauna, conduct research and collect citizen science data, augmented reality, and tactile and auditory experiences. The first phase will be ready in mid-2019.

Part of the upgrade includes the construction of a new Peter Scott Field Studies Centre and the building of two tower hides, one in the northwest and another, south of the reserve. Supporting the visitor experience, a one-kilometre natural boardwalk linking the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department post and the Education Centre will replace the existing path and provide universal access facilities.


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