Contract No.: CV/2012/05. Bathing Beach at Lung Mei, Tai Po

Report for capture and relocation of

Common Rat Snake 滑鼠蛇

Dr. Mark Shea

 

June 26, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.        Introduction

1.1.    To comply with the environmental permit requirement of the Project (EP-388/2010), i.e. section 2.4 under task of measures for mitigating ecological impact, it is required to mitigate the ecological impact on the Common rat Snake Ptyas mucosus, capture survey on the species shall be conducted by a qualified ecologist (refer to Appendix 1: CV of Dr. Mark Shea) within the project site before the commencement of construction of the Project. Any of this species caught during the survey shall be relocated to suitable habitats, which has been agreed by the Director of EPD.

 

2        Method

2.1      The capture survey has been conducted on 24th March 2017 during day time. Boundary of the snake capture survey covered the whole project site, shown as Figure 1.  In accordance with EM & A Manual and EP, captured common rat snake will be released at the shrubland habitat (as receptor site) on north of the project area, Figure 2. The proposed relocation site is a shrubland with some rocks and leaf litters, which provides potential habitat for snake foraging, hiding and breeding (refers to Photos 1-4). The habitat is similar to that found at the proposed capture site

 

2.2      As the species is strictly diurnal (HKU 2017; Karsen et al., 1986) and the capture habitat is small in area (approximately 1 ha) with easy access by walk, one day time survey has been carried out. Terrestrial area of the project site has been surveyed.

 

2.3      Careful searches of appropriate microhabitats and refugia (e.g. stones, crevices, leaf litter/debris, dead/fallen wood, underside of wood/plastic board) have been undertaken. In considering the species is very swift and difficult to capture, snake hooks has been used during capture survey. Proper clothes, shoes and gloves have been wore by surveyors to prevent potential snake bite.

 

2.4      To increase the chance finding the snake, systematic and intensive search of appropriate microhabitats and refugia (e.g. stones, crevices, leaf litter/debris, dead/fallen wood, underside of wood/plastic board) were performed during capture survey.      

 

3        Result

3.1      The capture survey has been undertaken  on the 24th March 2017.  The proposed site comprised of woodland and shrubland habitats (Photos 5-8) that potentially inhabited by the snake. The snake was not found during the survey period .     

 

4        Summary

4.1      Capture survey of the snake has been done systematically throughout the proposed survey area on the 24th March 2017 and no snake was noticed/captured during the survey period.

 

5        Reference

 

HKU (The University of Hong Kong). (2017). Ptyas mucosus Common Rat Snake. Available at http://www.biosch.hku.hk/ecology/hkreptiles/snake/Ptyas_mucosus.html.  [Accessed 5th Jaunuary 2017]

 

Karsen, S.J., Lau, W.N., Bogadek, A. (1986). Hong Kong Amphibians and Reptiles, the Urban Council Hong Kong. HKSAR.

 

Figure 1.  Boundary of snake capture survey at Lung Mei beach.

 

Figure 2.  Indicative areas for common rat snake capture survey and relocation at Lung Mei beach.

 

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Photo 1. General View of the relocation site (Outside)

Photo 2. General View of the relocation site (Outside)

Photo 3. General View of the relocation site (inside)

Photo 4. General View of the relocation site (inside)

Photo 5. General View of Capture Survey Area

Photo 6. General View of Capture Survey Area

Photo 7. General View of Capture Survey Area

Photo 8.  View of Capture Survey at the site