Rare pink dolphins return to Hong Kong waters after coronovirus lockdown ferry traffic
- Weak Chinese white dolphin content has increased by 30% since March
- For the first time in this month boat and ferry travel was suspended in the area
- With silence in water travel, scientists are able to study how dolphins react to noise
Scenes of rare pink dolphins have jumped into Hong Kong waters as ferry travel to the Coronavirus lockdown zone has been halted.
Indo-Pacific dolphins – also known as Chinese white dolphins and pink dolphins – are moving from Hong Kong to parts of the Pearl River Delta.
Their numbers have increased by 30 percent since March, when ferry traffic was suspended due to coronovirus lockdown.
Rare pink dolphin return to Hong Kong for coronovirus lockdown hauling ferry traffic in parts of the Pearl River Delta
A handheld photograph of two Chinese white dolphins in the water near Hong Kong. Scientists said the number of dolphins in the delta has increased by 30 percent since March
The dolphins once escaped the region due to boat traffic between Hong Kong and Macau.
Marine scientist Lindsey Porter, who has studied dolphins near Hong Kong for three decades, said: ‘We have closed the ghats in the region because we have seen dolphins that we haven’t seen for four, five, six years Tha, Kong’s residence back in Hong Kong.
‘It seems too early that the dolphins have returned to this waterway.’
“Normally this entire area would be filled with fast ferry transporting people from Hong Kong to Macau and back again,” Porter said.
‘Ever since the Kovid epidemic has started in Macau and travel has been restricted in many areas, fast ghats have closed. And this water has become very calm. ‘
Flaws in water traffic have given scientists a rare opportunity to study how underwater noise affected dolphin behavior.
From a small rubber boat, Porter and his team dropped microphones into the water and used the drone to watch dolphins.
Porter said research suggests that dolphins adapted more quickly than calm environments, and that there was a possibility of population rebirth to overcome such stresses, Porter said.
Scientists estimate that there are about 2,000 dolphins at the mouth of the entire Pearl River.
Marine scientist Lindsey Porter (pictured) said that the silence in water traffic in the waters near Hong Kong gave scientists a unique opportunity to study how dolphins respond to underwater sound
A 2019 Hong Kong government survey found that only 52 dolphins entered the waters around the Asian Financial Center, but Porter believes the actual number may be slightly higher.
He said that I sometimes feel that we are studying the slow demise of this population, which can be really sad.
Still, even if the decline of this population could not be prevented, research could help other dolphin populations elsewhere, she said.
Hong Kong’s conservation plans have focused on opening marine parks, where ship traffic is limited but not restricted. Three of those areas are frequented by dolphins.
Hong Kong WWF, a conservation group and Porter, said such measures were inadequate because moving between protected areas posed a threat to dolphins hitting the ghats.
“This means that if we put together a comprehensive management plan in Hong Kong with more effective conservation measures, we can halt the dolphin population decline quickly,” he said.