A green group warned on Thursday that the government may have underestimated the ecological value of fringe areas of the Tai Lam Country Park, where public housing could be built, after it found rare species of butterfly there.
Green Power said a survey is has carried out showed around a third of all butterfly species in Hong Kong can be found on the outskirts of the park, including two “very rare” species, and five “rare” species.
The group said it carried out its study from April to May – about the time when the Housing Society was tasked to evaluate the ecological value of the area.
Green Power's senior environmental affairs manager, Matthew Sin, said it is never a sensible idea to build housing on the edge of country parks.
“The periphery of country parks is of high ecological value. And, in fact, many country park boundaries serve another very important function, which is a buffer to protect the core area of country parks”.
The government is also considering building public housing on the fringes of the Ma On Shan Country Park.
On Wednesday, Development Secretary Michael Wong dismissed calls to abandon the proposals, which were put forward by the previous administration of CY Leung.