With no ferry traffic since March, the pink dolphin population rose by 30 per cent in the Pearl River estuary to about 2,500. In recent years, the species has experienced a worrying decline. Overfishing, pollution, coastal development and marine traffic threaten its survival.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the rare Chinese pink dolphin has reappeared in Hong Kong waters.
According to research by the University of St Andrews, the numbers of this rare mammal present in the Pearl River estuary, which separates the former British colony from Macau, jumped by 30 per cent since the start of the pandemic.
Back in March, the COVID-19 outbreak led local authorities to suspend ferry traffic between the two autonomous regions, a step that helped the animal's resurgence.
According to the local branch of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), the first recorded sighting of the pink dolphin in the Hong Kong area dates back to 1600s.
At present, the population in the Pearl River Estuary is estimated to be around 2,500 individuals, but the nature conservation group says that it has experienced a "worrisome decrease" in recent years as a result of overfishing, water pollution, heavy marine traffic and coastal development.