In Hong Kong a population of approx. 120 indo - pacific humpback dolphins are struggling to survive in Hong Kong's harbour due to pollution, overfishing, excessive boat traffic and habitat loss. These dolphins are thought to be an unique sub-species of the chinese white dolphin , a member of the indo - pacific humpback dolphin family. They are known for their bright pink colour. These dolphins are also found in small populations off the coast of China, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Hong Kong dolphinwatch has been working since 1995 to increase the publics awareness of these dolphins plight.
There are five species of river dolphins.
The amazon river dolphins or botos are born grey and become pinker with age They have a long powerful beak, small eyes and are slow swimmers. When excited, they will flush to a bright pink temporarily. They are unique among dolphins for having molar-like teeth and can chew their prey. Also another uniqueness is they have small hairs on their rostrum which remain throughout their life. Another interesting habit is they rest on the bottom of the river.They are quite solitary animals, and are found in the main rivers of the amazon and orinoco river systems of tropical South America. They inhabit muddy stagnant water, and during flooding will move onto the flooded forests leaving them at risk of stranding. They are however extremely flexible so they can weave through the obstacles of trees as they search for their prey.They are a completely freshwater species, never venturing into salt water.Their habitat is threatened by pollution, damming, boat traffic, and by man through directly killing them for food or sport or destruction of their habitat.
The chinese river dolphins or baiji (meaning white dolphin) are one of the most severely endangered dolphin species with less than 300 individuals in the Yangtze River, the only place they are found. This species is a shy animal, with a long thin beak and tends to be seen in pairs. They are light to dark grey fading to white on the belly.They dive only briefly, and are very well adapted to their life in turbid, silty water.The species faces many threats, including damming, boat traffic, death from fishing lines, and habitat degradation. The baiji is now a protected animal in China and a concerted effort is being made towards its preservation including the establishment of reserves.
The franciscana is a relative of the chinese river dolphin which unlike the other river dolphins actually inhabits the shallows of the ocean. It is an uncommon species, and rarely seen, found along the coast of South America. They feed near the bottom of the ocean and do not form schools. This species has a small head and a long slender beak, and is coloured pale brown. They are often caught in nets.
The ganges river dolphin , located in the rivers of India and Bangladesh and the indus river dolphin , found in the Indus River system of Pakistan are virtually sightless and are also endangered. They are known for their distinctive bulbous head shape, and for swimming on their sides, using their echolocation and probing with their rostrums (snouts) to find food on the muddy river bottom.They are coloured dark grey fading to light grey on the belly. Slow breeders , they are threatened by damming, pollution, habitat degradation and hunting.There may be as few as 400 indus river dolphins in existence
For more information on the Hong Kong pink dolphins please click here .
For more information on the river dolphins please click here or here
~~ Thanks to Hong Kong dolphinwatch for the pink dolphin pictures and the Rainforest Preservation Foundation for the boto photo. They need your support. Please visit their homepages.~~Thank you for your visit. If you have time, please sign our guestbook here
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