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Species Distribution - Mammal
   Lin Ma Hang Lead Mine (Lower Cave)
    Site Description

The Lin Ma Hang lead mine is located in the Sha Tau Tok area, within the Frontier Closed Area. It is therefore inaccessible to non-permit holders. The lead mine was operational until early 1960. The lower gallery of this lead mine provides an undisturbed resting ground for bats and has become one of the most important bat colonies in Hong Kong. The galleries of this mine and the nearby area were designated as SSSI on 13 August 1994.

    Site Protection

The area is situated in the Frontier Closed Area.


Inaccessible to non-permit holders.

    Survey method

The number of bats is counted at least twice a year in this area, i.e. winter (March) and summer (October) censuses. For settled individuals, the number, usually in aggregations, is counted or estimated by determining the cluster densities at selected areas and extrapolating these by the total area of the colony covered by the settled bats.  For flying individuals, the number of individuals passing through a reference point is counted, and these flying individuals are identified to species level with the aid of bat detectors. All bats observed were identified to species level following Shek (2006).

    Tips and Code

Bats are very sensitive to human disturbance in their roosting sites, and often aggregate in colonies in caves, water tunnels or abandoned mines.  In winter, the torpid or hibernating bats are extremely sensitive to the presence of humans, and respond to disturbance by an increase in activity, which may cost extra energy consumption and death after spring due to energy depletion.  Bats are also very sensitive to disturbance during the breeding season, as it may lead to young bats being dropped by their mothers or the bats being forced to move to other, less suitable, sites.  Therefore, visits to sites where bats are roosting should be avoided.

Map and species list provided are for reference only.