Hong Kong, crowded with people, may seem an unlikely place for bird watching. But the bird Life here is so diverse that the SAR is becoming popular with birdwatchers that tour the globe and the number of local bird watchers is growing. To date, 452 species of wild birds have been recorded in Hong Kong, about a third of the total number of species recorded in China. This surprisingly high proportion has two main causes. First, the territory is situated on a prime migration route through Asia. And second, Hong Kong has a great range of habitats and thus can support a wide diversity of bird species. The most important bird habitats are the coastal wetlands in the northwest and northeast, and the maturing woodlands found in most Country Park valleys. Shrubland and grassland birds inhabit the higher slopes. Fewer birds are seen outside the protected areas, as there the land has been lost to rapid development or general degradation.