“It seems very soon that dolphins are back on this waterway,” Marine researcher said Lindsay Porter told Reuters of the miraculous rebirth.
In fact, sightings of the rare marine mammal – also known as the Chinese white dolphin and the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin – have skyrocketed by almost 30% since the region stopped boat and boat traffic in March due to COVID concerns. In turn, this “very quiet” environment allowed researchers to track the species with drones and underwater microphones, said the independent.
“What we’ve noticed since the boats were stopped in this area are the dolphins we haven’t seen in four, five, six years are back in Hong Kong habitat,” said Porter, who studied the animals. for three decades in Hong Kong. .
These findings indicated that pink dolphins adapted to calm seas better than previously thought, and that their numbers could rebound when the aforementioned stressors were removed.
Despite the promising discovery, the 2,500 dolphins in the Pearl River Estuary could also take a hit in the future due to a decline in children, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
“Sometimes I feel like we’re studying the slow death of this population, which can be really sad,” Porter lamented.
However, he said his research could benefit dolphin strongholds in other regions, which offers a kind of hope for a species that has been pushed aboard by overfishing, marine traffic and coastal development.
Pink dolphins aren’t the only unlikely beneficiaries of coronavirus restrictions. Since the advent of the pandemic, animals have gone from strength to strength lions to the penguins they reclaimed spaces once occupied by man.