TAIPEI, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- A rare local species of humpback dolphins in Taiwan has seen its population reduce to fewer than 65 due to busy shipping and wind power plants in its habitat, according to local media.
About 40 to 50 percent of the white dolphins spotted by researchers have visible scars, likely caused by passing ships in their habitat waters, Tuesday's United News Daily reported, quoting the Taiwan Cetacean Society and the Matsu Fish Conservation Union (MFCU), two local environmentalist groups.
The dolphins mostly live in a small and narrow stretch of estuarine water off the western coast of Taiwan, which has busy shipping routes, tourism and industrial projects.
Besides injuries by human fishing activities, they also face major threats from water and sound pollution by industrial projects along the coast and less freshwater from the nearby rivers, the MFCU said.
The large-scale off-shore wind power plants along the western coast may also threaten the dolphins' survival due to low-frequency noise by wind turbines, the organization said.