Oceanwide Science Institute

Hong Kong Projects

The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is found in tropical to sub-tropical waters throughout coastal areas in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. The species overall is considered near-threatened by the IUCN red list. These dolphins have a patchy and fragmented distribution, and typically occur in small coastal populations. There is growing evidence that threats such as habitat degradation and fisheries bycatch are leading to population declines in some areas, while in other locations, population trends are not well documented yet.

The Pearl River Estuary population, locally known as the Chinese White Dolphin, occurs in waters around Macau and Hong Kong. They are an iconic part of the local culture thanks, in part, to the bubble gum-pink coloration of adult animals. This is one of the largest and best-studied populations, with abundance estimated at approximately 1200 individuals in the early 2000’s. However, in recent years, the Pearl River Delta has seen immense economic growth and development, with several major construction and industrial projects taking place in habitats used by dolphins. With this rise in development has come evidence of a sharp decline in the population. OSI is working with research partners in Hong Kong (Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society) and in the U.S. (Texas A&M University and Clymene Enterprises), in coordination with local agencies involved in development projects, to study the impacts that human activities are having on humpback dolphins in the region. Since December 2012, OSI has been collecting and analyzing acoustic data from bottom-mounted Ecological Acoustic Recorders deployed at 14 locations around Hong Kong, as well as analyzing data recorded in real-time from small research vessels, to investigate baseline dolphin habitat use, acoustic behavior, and any potential changes in response to construction activities.




Würsig, B., Lammers, M.O., Munger, L.M. and Hung, S. 2013.  Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Link Road – Section between HKSAR Boundary and Scenic Hill on Dolphin Acoustic Behaviour Monitoring Construction Phase Report. Report prepared by Hong Kong Cetacean Research Project. Contract no. HY/2011/09. 25 October 2013. DOWNLOAD PDF

Würsig, B., Kim, K., Lammers, M.O., Munger, L.M. and Hung, S. 2014. Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Tuen Mun – Chek Lap Kok Link (Southern Connection Viaduct Section) Baseline Monitoring Report for Underwater Noise and Dolphin Acoustic Behavioural Monitoring. Report prepared by Hong Kong Cetacean Research Project. Contract no. HY/2012/07. 25 July 2014. DOWNLOAD PDF

Munger, L.M., Lammers, M.O., Cifuentes, M., Würsig, B., Jefferson, T. and Hung, S. 2016. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin occurrence north of Lantau Island, Hong Kong based on year-round passive acoustic monitoring.  J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 140, 2754-2765.  © 2016 Acoustical Society of America. http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/140/4/10.1121/1.4963874?aemail=author. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of Amer (Vol.140, No.4). DOWNLOAD PDF

Could not save XML file

Could not save marker XML file (/home/content/81/3815881/html/cms/wp-content/uploads/wp-google-maps/3markers.xml) for Map ID 3

Present & past EAR locations: