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The Perilous Recovery Of The Taiwanese White Dolphin

Live-streamed on May 30, 2014

Watch the video above to see Vancouver Aquarium’s Dr. Peter Ross give a presentation on the Taiwanese White Dolphin.

Numbering only 74 individuals and facing many threats, the geographically isolated Taiwanese White Dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is in peril. The shallow estuarine and coastal waters of central-western Taiwan have historically provided prime habitat for these dolphins, but are today subject to anthropogenic insults including noise, pollution, habitat destruction, freshwater diversions, and poorly regulated fisheries.

Peter describes the last ten years of conservation-based research and advice to government of Taiwan, and outlines recent developments to mitigate threats and recover this Critically Endangered population. While the outlook is bleak, there is hope for the Taiwanese White Dolphin.

Scientists, conservationists, government agencies and the private sector are slowly but steadily coming together. The efforts of the international scientific community are proving instrumental in nurturing local efforts to recover this population.  


About The Speaker

Dr. Peter S. Ross
Ocean Pollution Research Program
Director & Senior Scientist

In his role as Director of the newly launched Ocean Pollution Research Program at Vancouver Aquarium, Dr. Peter Ross returns to the places he likes best: the islands, coastal waters and open ocean of Canada’s west coast, and the lab. As a research scientist with the Canadian government from 1996 until 2013, Dr. Ross worked with a team of pollution specialists spread across the country. He is an international expert in the area of ocean pollution, having published more than 120 scientific articles and book chapters.

In more than 25 years of marine pollution research, he pioneered new techniques to evaluate the effects of persistent pollutants on the health of marine mammals. He has led groundbreaking studies on the health of B.C.’s iconic killer whales, on the effects of flame retardants on beluga whales, on the presence of hydrocarbons in sea otters and their habitat, on trends in priority pollutants in harbour seals, on the impacts of currently used pesticides on the health of salmon, and on the identification of emerging pollutants in sentinel species.

Dr. Peter Ross is the Vancouver Aquarium's new Ocean Pollution Science Program director and senior scientist.

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