Monday, June 18, 2007

Neonate Spotted

Humpback Dolphin watchers have spent a couple of days looking for the dolphins from the shore at Changbin Industrial Park. On both days about eight to ten dolphins were seen. Watchers were able to photograph some animals when they got close to the shoreline and were able to positively identify three of the dolphins, and possibly further identify another two to three other dolphins in the group.
Great news is that there was a very young neonate, which is thought to have been born earlier this year (maybe a month or two ago). This is very good news because there haven't been any neonates seen since 2002.

On May 12th, students from the Humpback Dolphin field course (15 from Canada and 4 from Hong Kong) went to the Dadu River mouth (end of the pier of the coal power plant) and Changbin Industrial Park and saw dolphins in both places. At the industrial park, the dolphins were close enough to photograph. Two of the three dolphins photographed were identified. While it is very good to see "old friends" again, being able to recognized individuals at such a high rate almost certainly means that the population is quite small....maybe even smaller than earlier survey estimates.

Photo courtesy of Shih-Chu Yang, FormosaCetus Research and Conservation Group.

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