Fung Yuen, which is situated about 2 kilometers from Tai Po Town Centre, is a famous site for appreciating butterflies in Hong Kong and Asia.
As early as 1980, the 42 hectares of land in Fung Yuen Valley has been listed as a "Site of Special Scientific Interest", of which about 8% (5 hectares) of private land with high conservation value.
Statistics shows that over 200 species of butterflies which accounts for 80% of the total 240 species have been recorded in Fung Yuen. Among them, about 50 species are uncommon and rare in Hong Kong.
Troides helena (Common Birdwing) and Lamproptera curius (White Dragontail) is the most unique in over 200 butterfly species. (see pictures below)
Aristolochia tagala (India Birthwort) and Illigera celebica (Illigera) are the larval food plants of Birdwing and White Dragontail respectively. Both plants can be found in Fung Yuen which is protected under the Forestry Regulations of the Forests and Countryside Ordinance.
Fung Yuen has high ecological value of three major reasons:
Common Birdwing is the only insect species in Hong Kong protected under the “Wild Animals Protection Ordinance”. It is one of the China’s largest butterfly species; the wingspan of a female can be as wide as 160mm (equivalent to about two adult palms)
White Dragontail is the smallest Swallowtail in the world with wingspan of only 35mm. It has transparent forewings because of lack of scales and swallowtail-liked hindwings, capable of fast flight.