That Chinese White Dolphins, once so at home in Hong Kong waters, are endangered will come as no surprise to the Lantau community but, according to an SCMP report on June 27, there is now “no optimism” for their survival.
A recent study, conducted by Dr Samuel Hung Ka-yiu of the Cetacean Research Project, reveals that the loveable pink-hued dolphins’ existence has reached crisis point locally due to the effect ongoing construction work is having on their natural habitat.
There is, of course, bitter irony in the fact that this study has been released in the lead-up to SAR Day 2017. For the past 20 years, the Chinese White Dolphin has been the symbol of Hong Kong’s handover to the mainland, but now its very survival seems unlikely.
“Numbers drop every year but usually there are at least some bright spots. In recent years for example, we saw dolphins taking refuge further south… and they were still reproducing,” Dr Hung Ka-yiu told the SCMP. “There are absolutely no barometers of optimism this year.”
With the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge nearly complete, there were hopes that the number of Chinese White Dolphins thriving locally would have increased. That they have in fact dropped, is, according to Dr Hung Ka-yiu, dependant on two factors – ongoing construction work on the airport’s third runway, and the rerouting of high-speed, Sky Pier ferries straight through the dolphins’ habitat.
Photo: www.wwf.org.hkTags: environment, Chinese white dolphins, conservation