Beijing, June 8 (IANS) There are now 2,060 endangered Chinese white dolphins living near an estuary of the Pearl river, marine authorities said on Wednesday.
A Chinese white dolphin monitoring expedition in 2015 found their numbers had increased from the 1,500 recorded in 2011, Xinhua news agency quoted He Shaoqing, Deputy Chief of Guangdong Provincial Maritime and Fishery Bureau, as saying.
The bureau issued a release on Wednesday, coinciding with the World Oceans Day, on the marine environment of the province for 2015.
He said the dolphin monitoring team had recorded 378 dolphin groups totalling 2,416, and of these 2,060 were Chinese white dolphins.
Chinese white dolphins, which are a first-class protected animal, are found along a few coastal areas in the country.
The dolphins have a low reproduction rate and high habitat requirements. Female dolphins only give birth every three years, and the calves have only a 20 per cent chance of survival, according to experts.
He said the ocean water quality near the coast of Guangdong province is “basically good” but excessive pollutants from five drainage rivers, of 12 in total, have been detected.
“Pollution control is still challenging,” he said.