After the coronavirus pandemic stopped the ferry, the rare pink dolphins are returning to the waters between Hong Kong and Macau, but scientists are still deeply concerned about their long-term survival in one of the world's busiest sea lanes.
The pink color flashed to remind Naomi Brennan that there was a Chinese white dolphin in the area, and she recorded the animal's location in the GPS device.
Nature conservationists such as Brennan regularly boarded ships in the Pearl River Delta to record how mammals,
"Today, we encountered three groups of dolphins-six adults and two sub-adults," She explained.
"They are engaged in various behaviors.
Keeping close contact with dolphins has been a frustrating task for many years.
The population of the country has decreased by 70-80% in the past 15 years This is one of the most populous countries in the world.
But since the beginning of this year, their numbers have rebounded, which deserves thanks to the pandemic.
Since February, the ferry between Hong Kong and Macau has been suspended. This is Local marine scientists have provided opportunities to study how mammals reproduce. They have adapted to "unprecedented quietness."
"We have seen larger group sizes, and more social and communicative behaviors. This has been in the past five years or so. We’ve never really seen it in time," Dr. Hong Kong marine scientist Lindsay Porter.
According to Porter’s research team, the number of pink dolphins in these waters since March Increased by about one-third.
"These areas are important for foraging and foraging. Social. Added Brennan, a member of the Porter team. Therefore, it is great to provide them with asylum.
-Large cities and shipping industry-
The Pearl River Delta is one of the most industrialized coastal areas on the planet. In addition to Hong Kong and Macau, it also includes megacities in mainland China, such as Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dongguan, and has about 22 million people.
In addition to heavy traffic, the main habitat of dolphins is also welcomed by many people. Large-scale development projects include the construction of the Hong Kong Airport on reclaimed land and the longest sea bridge in the world connecting the financial hub to Macau and Zhuhai.
A large new reclamation project is also underway to build an airport for the city’s third runway.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, there are estimated to be only 2,000 pink dolphins left in the Pearl River Delta, which is the minimum number required by conservationists to maintain this species.
People are obviously worried about the dolphins in the delta.
"Dolphins, especially these estuarine dolphins, have a slow birth rate, a slow growth rate, and a slow reproduction rate," said Laurence McC. , The head of the Hong Kong Marine Conservation Department of the World Wildlife Fund.
"So they need to be managed very carefully."
-Guangdong Cultural Heritage-
The lack of ferry is a welcome for dolphins, but it may be temporarily relieved.
The noise from ships disturbs the underwater The sound of mammals for navigation and communication.
Ships also pose a physical threat of beating, harming or even killing creatures.
The outlying areas of Lantau Island along the Hong Kong coastline in the south of Hong Kong provide refuge for typhoons and predators for dolphins.
But the ferry between Macau and the financial center is also a safe haven here.
Conservationists are actively expanding existing marine parks to better protect vulnerable species.
"We have now identified a habitat that can be cultivated by them, and can really be used to nourish their population," Brennan said, and he believes that recent discoveries can provide an opportunity for conser. The American opposition has "turned the situation around for the fragile dolphin population."
"Although we have seen such a huge change since the early days, although this change is very early, it is indeed a positive change. " But McCook of WWF warned that the time for the dolphins had run out.
"They are signs of the area," he said. "They are part of the Guangdong tradition. They have been here for thousands of years."
"It would be a global tragedy to lose this iconic creature from the future of the Greater Bay Area."