Ecosystems Ltd. is an independent consulting firm founded in 1993 to provide ecological consulting services in the East and South-East Asian region. Our vision is to provide development proponents and decision makers with the information needed to make ecologically sound decisions, and to ensure that ecological considerations are kept at the centre of the planning and development process, as the underpinning of environmental, al and social stability.
Our philosophy is based on the conviction that conservation and development are not necessarily contradictory goals and that, with rational planning and guidance, development can proceed without threatening biodiversity or ecosystem sustainability.
The firm has provided consulting services on over 200 projects and studies in the public and private sector, including feasibility studies, planning studies, Environmental Impact Assessments, conservation management plans, ecological restoration projects, and wildlife research. Ecosystems Ltd. has pioneered new approaches to habitat protection, habitat restoration and ecologically sensitive infrastructure design in Hong Kong.
Clients of the firm include government departments, multilateral and bilateral aid agencies, conservation groups, and registered charities. Countries and regions of work experience include Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand.
Ecosystems Ltd. personnel have international consulting and research experience spanning the USA, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal and India. Staff members combine scientific expertise with linguistic skills and an understanding of East and South Asian cultures.
The firm combines an international standard of consulting with a detailed knowledge of local ecological issues, particularly in the Hong Kong and South China region. Among the firm's professional staff are specialists in wildlife biology, marine biology, plant ecology, and environmental policy and law. Other areas of expertise covered by the firm's international network of associates include wildlife and wildland conservation, ecology and tourism development, and game management.
Additional Staff Resources:
In addition to core personnel, Ecosystems Ltd. maintains connections with specialist consultants in Hong Kong, China and abroad. The pool of expertise available to the company through this network covers the ecology of specific habitats and species groups in both the terrestrial and marine environments, as well as planning and management of protected areas.
Range-wide Census of Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor
The Black-faced Spoonbill (Threskiornithidae, Platalea minor) is classified as 'Critically Endangered' in the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. The species is identified as 'facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future' due to population reduction, predicted to be associated with 'a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of habitat'. Given that the historical distribution of Black-faced Spoonbills is greater than its current known distribution, and the observed trends in loss of coastal wetlands in East Asia in recent years, this projection seems well justified.
All known major wintering sites of the species (particularly Tseng-wen Estuary (Taiwan), Deep Bay (Hong Kong/China) and Red River Delta (Vietnam) are coastal estuarine wetlands. Industrial development proposals threaten the integrity and water supply of the Tseng-wen site; pollution and coastal development threaten the Deep Bay site; human habitat modification is affecting the Red River site.
Since 1993, Ecosystems Ltd. has coordinated a range-wide winter season census of this species. This effort originally arose from attempts to collate data on the species for an environmental impact assessment. It was realized that existing data on the species' population size and distribution had to be updated to allow adequate assessment of impacts to the species from a development proposed near their main wintering site.
Starting in 1994, the census effort has been carried out with the goal of advancing knowledge of the population size and winter distribution of this endangered species, in order to provide a better foundation on which to base proposals for conservation of the species and its habitat. The species' summer range and breeding biology remain even less well known than its winter range, but scientists in Korea and China are working hard to fill that data gap.
From winter 2002, the BirdLife International affiliate, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society has accepted the responsibility to start the coordination of the International Census.