2007/05/21 下午 05:16:28
A population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, Sousa chinensis, living in near shore waters off the west- central coast of Taiwan is engaged in a desperate struggle for survival.
Entanglement in fishing nets, degradation of coastal water habitats, and pollution from several sources including heavy industry, agriculture and untreated municipal sewage are all serious threats that individually and cumulatively threaten the future of this important population of dolphins.
Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins occur primarily in shallow, near shore waters, often with the highest densities found near river mouths. Their geographic range extends throughout the coastal waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans, from South Africa in the west to northern Australia and southern China in the east. Typically found in small groups, they can vary in colour from yellow to pink to almost white to medium grey; and like bottlenose dolphins, they have a long, slender beaks. They have a broad-based, backwards sloping dorsal fin and as their name implies, they have a fatty “hump” on which the dorsal fin sits – this is more pronounced in those found in the western part of their distribution.
The small population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins on the eastern side of the Taiwan Strait was discovered in 2002 by Dr. John Wang, a WDCS funded researcher. Due to their preference of shallow waters and their dependency on a freshwater input, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are generally found in small populations throughout their range. This population therefore is geographically and thus genetically, isolated from the closest population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins found across the Taiwan Strait in the coastal waters of Xiamen, China. This “closed” population of dolphins are in danger of being wiped out.
Under the current Wildlife Conservation Law of Taiwan the dolphins are already included with those animals which require the highest level of protection, however, increasing industrial development, unsustainable driftnet fishing and other factors continue to put enormous pressure on the last few remaining individuals.
WDCS has written to the authorities to urge that all levels of government in Taiwan take the high risk of extinction of these dolphins seriously and encourage the authorities responsible to provide high priority attention and real protection to these internationally important dolphins, and to other wildlife and their environment.
Useful link: http://taiwansousa.blogspot.com/
Source: Taiwan National Coalition Against the Hushan Dam / WDCS
WDCS is the global voice for the protection of whales, dolphins and their environm