Chinese White Dolphin

Lipotes Vexillifer

Description

The Chinese Dolphin, also called the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin are mammals. These dolphins get their name because they have a hump at the base of their dorsal fin. These dolphins are medium-sized and have a round melon that goes down to the beak. Depending on the location, the Chinese Dolphin can be dark gray, white, or pink. For example, in the Eastern range calves are born with dark gray skin and it lightens over time. In the Western range, calves are born with light skin that darkens over time.

Diet

The Chinese Dolphin picks up vibrations of its prey in the water. They can figure out what direction they are moving and the size of the animals. Due to this technique, they normally do not go without food. They swallow their food whole. This means they normally only eat small and medium fish. The Chinese Dolphin is a picky eater. They do not eat squid, octopus, shrimp or crab unless they can not find any other food sources. Their favorite food is fish -- a variety of 20 different types of fish.
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Hong Kong's Chinese White Dolphins - Construction and New Runway Threat

Habitat

The Chinese White Dolphin most commonly lives in the Indian and Pacific Oceans off the coast of South China in the East to Eastern coasts of West Africa, including the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and Australia. Currently, some Chinese White Dolphins live in Hong Kong, but historically most of them lived in Hong Kong. They can live in lagoons, lakes, reefs, and even swamps. The Chinese White Dolphin has many predators, including sharks, killer whales, and humans. Humans are predators because they create noise pollution that disrupt the animals. The Chinese White Dolphin travels the coastal regions of warm tropical waters. They live in the waters of south-east Asia as well as the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Problems

The Chinese White Dolphin has become endangered because of loss of habitat, high traffic, water pollution, underwater noise pollution, and food depletion. Underwater noise pollution is a problem because the dolphins use sound waves to locate their food. If they can not hear these signals, they starve. These animals are hunted for their meat and oil, so it can be sold. They do not carry any diseases.

Solutions

Chinese White Dolphins have a protection fund. The Chinese government is investing 11.46 million dollars to this fund. The money is used to construct natural reserves for the animals as well as, research centers. The program is expected to raise awareness and spread the word that the ecosystem needs to be more balanced. Management, public education, and research is being planned on being done to find out more information about these animals. There are currently no breeding programs in place to increase the population.

Reproduction

Chinese White dolphin males are ready for mating around 13 years old. Females are mature near the age of 10. Males attract females with a call to indicate they want to mate. Before they reproduce, they normally have a courtship. Once the female whale is pregnant it take 11 months for the offspring to be born. The mother takes very good care of the baby until normally it reaches the age of 3, then it can start living on its own. SInce dolphins are mammals, they have a live birth.
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There are many organizations trying to increase the population of the dolphins. These groups include but are not limited to, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

Works Cited


"Chinese White Dolphin." Chinese White Dolphin. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

"Chinese White Dolphin." Dolphin Facts and Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

"Conservation And Management Of Chinese White Dolphin Biology Essay." Conservation And Management Of Chinese White Dolphin Biology Essay. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

The Conservation Programme for the Chinese White Dolphin in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Dept., 2000. Web.

"Hong Kong DolphinWatch Ltd." Hong Kong DolphinWatch Ltd. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

"Hong Kong's Chinese White Dolphins - Construction and New Runway Threat." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

"Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin." WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

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"State Acts to Save Dolphins From Extinction." State Acts to Save Dolphins From Extinction. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

"State Acts to Save Dolphins From Extinction." State Acts to Save Dolphins From Extinction. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

"Whale Facts and Information." Whale Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

"Where Do Chinese White Dolphin Live?" Dolphin Facts and Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.