Subject: Case Study: Dolphins in HK Waters Genetica (fwd)

Michael Williamson (pita@whale.simmons.edu)
Tue, 30 Apr 1996 08:41:52 -0400 (EDT)

What are problems associated with small populations? in-breeding?
What does genetically strong refer to?
What are problems associated with living in polluted waters?
Where is Hong Kong?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 96 11:16:00 UTC 0000
From: r.mallon1@genie.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: Dolphins in HK Waters Genetica

Dolphins in HK Waters Genetically Strong: Research

   HONG KONG (April 29) XINHUA - Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong's polluted
waters are genetically strong and show no sign of inbreeding despite the
relatively small population, a research has found.
   Today's Eastern Express reported that DNA analysis has revealed that the
dolphins, believed to number between 80 and 200, are not a unique species, but
a distinct genetic group.
   Researcher Lindsay Porter said different sousa dolphin populations in the
world are all one species but they have been separated by geography, and
through time for so long it is highly likely they are distinct genetic stock.
   The genetic research will examine 50 tissue samples from sousa species in
the
region including those in Thailand, Vietnam and China, as well as in Australia
and Africa.
   According to the report, genetic fingerprinting revealed variations among
Hong
Kong's dolphins, which is believed a good thing for a population because it
makesthem more adaptable to changes in the environment.
   "It is healthy and well that breeding groups are mixing and there is no
inbreeding," Porter said.
   Researchers have samples of sousa tissue from Xiamen in China and are
seeking
DNA from other populations.
   Porter plans to scour Chinese waters just outside Hong Kong this summer to
assess dolphin distribution, the report said.