​Pink Dolphins In Danger Of Further Decline​​

Pink Dolphins in Hong Kong are dwindling and are in danger unless immediate action is taken. The population in Hong Kong has dwindled from an estimated 158 in 2003 to 78 in 2011.

Pink Dolphins In Danger

The figures for 2012 will be released next month, and the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society expects them to show a further decline in population.

“It is up to the government and every Hong Kong citizen to stand up for dolphins,” Samuel Hung, the organization’s chairman, told AFP. “We risk losing them unless we all take action.”

On April 28, a heartbreaking video from Hong Kong Dolphinwatch surfaced on the Internet that showed a mother, along with a few other dolphins, trying to revive her dead baby calf by keeping it above the water. It was the third incident like that reported in April.

“We’re 99 per cent certain the calf died from toxins in the mother’s milk, accumulated from polluted seawater,” Hong Kong Dolphinwatch spokeswoman Janet Walker said.

In addition to water pollutions, experts say over-fishing, habitat loss, an increase in marine traffic and coastal development have all contributed to the population decline. Proposals to construct a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport, which was built on an island largely made up of reclaimed land to begin with, would put a further strain on the dolphins’ habitat, Hung said.

Hung suggested that people act by lobbying boat companies to divert traffic away from heavily dolphin-inhabited areas and campaign against coastal developments.

The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I, which include species that are threatened with extinction. They are listed at “near-threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

A large pink dolphin subpopulation lives Pearl River Delta, the water between Macau and Hong Kong.

The young dolphins are grey and spotted, but their spots fade, and they become pinker in color as they grow older, according to the WWF.

The pink dolphin was the official mascot of the 1997 handover ceremony when Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule.