'Keep this little songbird off your menu' - RTHK
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'Keep this little songbird off your menu'

2017-12-06 HKT 18:35
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  • A poster released by Hong Kong Bird Watching Society to save the yellow-breasted bunting.
    A poster released by Hong Kong Bird Watching Society to save the yellow-breasted bunting.
  • Yu Yat-tung (right) is appealing to people to stop eating the songbird before it's driven to extinction. Photo courtesy: Hong Kong Bird Watching Society
    Yu Yat-tung (right) is appealing to people to stop eating the songbird before it's driven to extinction. Photo courtesy: Hong Kong Bird Watching Society
The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society has called on Hongkongers not to go over the border to eat the yellow-breasted bunting.

Consuming the songbird has been banned in the SAR. But it remains a highly popular delicacy in southern China, and as a result, the once abundant species is now being hunted to near extinction.

In its latest "Red List of Threatened Species", the International Union for Conservation of Nature has identified the yellow-breasted bunting as a critically endangered species. That means there is a 90 percent chance of the bird becoming extinct.

"I feel bad to say it, but it is the truth. Some people in Southeast Asia they also eat small landbirds, but they don't go specifically for the yellow-breasted bunting," said Yu Yat-tung, a research manager at the society.

"However, in south China we have a culture, we have a tradition of eating yellow-breasted bunting. This is the main problem."