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September 24, 2017

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Groups urge COA to protect at risk Chinese White Dolphins

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Three conservation groups yesterday petitioned the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA) to act to safeguard the critically endangered Chinese White Dolphin from becoming extinct in Taiwan waters.

Representatives of the Taiwan Academy of Ecology, Taiwan Sustainable Union, and Taiwan Environmental Protection Union visited the COA, asking it to get concerned about the ongoing depletion of the Chinese White Dolphin population in waters along the island's western coast.

The representatives said the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated the Chinese White Dolphins in these areas as a "critically endangered" species, estimating there are now less than 100 such dolphins surviving there.

They called for the COA to closely monitor the habitat of the dolphins, and prevent engineering operations from undermining the ecology of the intelligent creatures.

In response, COA officials said the council has named the Chinese White Dolphins as a "critically endangered" species, and will soon set up an ad hoc panel to work out effective conservation measures.

The Chinese White Dolphin (also called Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin), is a species of the Humpback dolphin and is one of eighty cetacean species. The adult dolphin is usually white or grey in color. The population along the Chinese coast is unique in exhibiting a pink-colored skin. This color of the skin is not a result of pigmentation, but actually from blood vessels used for thermoregulation to prevent overheating during exertion. The adult's body length is about 200-350 centimeters and the infant's body length is about 1 meter. The average weight of an adult is around 150 to 230 kilograms.

Chinese White Dolphins swim to the water's surface to breathe every twenty to thirty seconds and after that, dive into deep water again.

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