Protection of Endangered Species

Here you can learn about Hong Kong's international commitment to endangered species, local initiatives to protect them, what the Government is doing to regulate the trade in endangered species, public awareness activities and the Endangered Species Resource Centre.

Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance

Hong Kong implemented the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1976 through the enactment of the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, Cap. 187. The Ordinance was replaced by the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, Cap. 586, in December 2006. It provides that, no person shall import, introduce from the sea, export, re-export or possess any endangered species, whether alive, dead, its parts or derivatives, except under and in accordance with a licence issued in advance by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD). In general, the trade in CITES Appendix I species, which are highly endangered species threatened with extinction, is prohibited, and anyone who contravenes the requirements of the Ordinance will be prosecuted. Convicted offenders are liable to a maximum fine of 10 million Hong Kong dollars and imprisonment for ten years.

The strict implementation of the Convention and the legislation has produced a number of successful seizures. More than 340 seizures were made in the period of 2022. The more commonly encountered specimens included American ginseng, succulent plants, orchids and their products, dried seahorses and reptile skin products etc.

To combat illegal ivory trade and protect wild elephants, the trade in elephant ivory (save for antique ivory) has been banned in Hong Kong. During the year, AFCD has stepped up inspection effort and remained in close contact with relevant government departments to combat smuggling and illegal trade of ivory.

More on the ConventionMore on the OrdinanceGuidelines on applying for a licence

Reward Scheme for Informers

If you are aware of any illegal activities with endangered species, you can help AFCD. Registered informers who provide reliable information that leads to the successful seizure of endangered species or to a conviction will be rewarded with cash. All information is kept strictly confidential. You can register with the scheme by calling 2150 6978. Further information on the scheme can be obtained from the Department's website.

More on the Reward Scheme

Publicity and Education Activities

Continuous efforts are made by AFCD to educate the general public, students and traders to raise their awareness of endangered species protection and the relevant legislation. Examples of such education and publicity work include the Endangered Species Resource Centre, talks in schools, roving exhibitions at public venues, distribution of advisory leaflets as well as mounting displays at the airport and border control points, and broadcast of TV and radio announcements in the public interest.

Information on publicity materials

Endangered Species Resource Centre

You may also visit the Endangered Species Resource Centre to view exhibits and information on endangered species.  Situated in Cheung Sha Wan, the Endangered Species Resource Centre operated by AFCD is the centrepiece of the Government's education efforts. Covering approximately 1,700 square feet, over 600 specimens of 200 endangered species are on display. Interactive elements make learning more enjoyable. In view of space limitations at the Centre, group bookings should be made in advance through submission of an application form or by telephone at 2150 6974.

  • Location: 6th Floor, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • Opening Hours: 
    -  Group visits: 10:00 am – 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    -  Individual visits: Friday 2:00 pm – 5:45 pm


More on the Resource CentreGroup bookings to visit the Resource Centre
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Last revision date: August 2023