For the past three years one of Wild's big issues has been the conservation of the highly endangered humpback dolphins (or "Matsu's Fish") in the near-shore waters of western Taiwan. Our work and that of the Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union (MFCU -- a group of seven major Taiwanese NGOs, including Wild) was sparked off and is supported greatly by the prolific reporting of Dr. John Wang and Sichu Yang of FormosaCetus Research and Conservation Group, the small research team which has worked hard since 2002 to survey this distinct Taiwanese population and gather vital information about their numbers, basic biology and state of health. Their photographs have allowed us to see the dolphins up-close, including the wounds that around 30 percent of the population bear, believed to be a result of interactions with fishing vessels and nets. Photographs, news and scientific reports can be accessed at the MFCU website.
Now you can also watch the Taiwanese humpback dolphin population in these two videos, filmed and provided by FormosaCetus. Clearly visible in the background is Formosa Plastics Mailiao Industrial Park in Yunlin County -- where proponents of further development have denied the presence of these dolphins. Thanks to the work of FormosaCetus, including this kind of footage, we are able to disprove such claims and give this population a better hope of survival.
Wild is now fundraising to support this year's humpback dolphin survey, which is to be part of a long-term plan to monitor the population size. The information gained from this survey will advise urgently needed conservation action and allow us, the authorities and other stakeholders to assess and improve on any action that is taken to protect the population from extinction. To support the FormosaCetus 2008 research project please contact Chris at +886 (0)2 2382 5789 or [email protected].