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By Jane Dalton September 15, 2020

The lull brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led rare pink dolphins to return to the seas around Hong Kong.

Sightings of the vulnerable Chinese white dolphin have risen by nearly a third - 30 per cent – since boat and ferry traffic was suspended in the region in March.

Scientists fear the species is in decline but say their research suggests the animals adapted more rapidly than expected to the quiet environment, offering a glimmer of hope for their populations.

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, also known as Chinese white dolphins or pink dolphins – reflecting their real colour – have been hit hard by overfishing, water pollution and numerous ferries and boats.  

WWF says the population in the Pearl River Estuary, including Hong Kong, is believed to be around 2,500, but falling numbers of young could reduce numbers in future.

Scientists took advantage of the  lockdown to drop microphones from a boat and use drones to monitor the dolphins. Their research suggests the animals adapted quickly to the more quiet environment and now the population could start to bounce back.

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18 September 2020
The lull brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led rare pink dolphins to return to the seas around Hong Kong.
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