Rare pink dolphins back in Hong Kong due to lockdown

The corona virus does not only have negative influences. The lockdown caused the rare pink dolphins to return to Hong Kong. With little to no water traffic, the number of dolphin sightings increased by 30 percent.

Scientists feared that the pink dolphins were in danger of extinction. But now it appears that they can adapt more quickly than expected to changes in the calm water.


The pink dolphin, also known as Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin or Chinese white dolphin, were badly affected by water traffic (such as boats or ferries), water pollution and overfishing. Currently, about 2,500 pink dolphins can be found in China’s Pearl River. But fewer younger animals have been spotted, which could mean that numbers will decline in the future.

“What we’ve noticed since the ferries stopped in this area is that dolphins that we hadn’t seen for four, five, six years are back in the Hong Kong habitat,” says marine scientist Lindsay Porter. “So it seems that the dolphins got back to this river very quickly.”

Dolphin hunt

“Normally this whole area would be full of ferries, taking people from Hong Kong to Macau and back. Since the Covid pandemic started in Macau and many other areas have also restricted travel, ferries have disappeared. This river has now become very quiet, ”

But on September 1, the dolphin hunt in Japan resumed. Four dolphins have already been captured. These dolphins are then sold worldwide to amusement parks and aquariums. The hunt will run until March next year.


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