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Research

Artificial Insemination of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins

Artificial Insemination of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins

In 1993, Ocean Park became the first facility in the world to set up a scientifically controlled breeding programme for the dolphins in its care. In 2001, two female dolphins each delivered a healthy calf - a female and a male. Their births marked the world's first successful conception using artificial insemination in bottlenose dolphins. The breakthrough stemmed from collaboration between our specialists, teams at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and SeaWorld in the United States. It was the result of over 10 years of effort. The new births put Ocean Park and PolyU at the forefront of reproductive physiology and controlled breeding of marine mammals. It is an important step in helping protect the bottlenose dolphins.

Biosonar Research

Biosonar Research

Since 2005, The Biosonar Research Project, a collaboration between Ocean Park and the National University of Singapore (NUS) has been investigating how dolphins are able to recognise shapes through echolocation. Using a Matching-To-Sample (MTS) theory, the dolphin is asked to echolocate on a sample object concealed in an echo-free box, and then to match it to one of several alternatives displayed visually in air. The acoustic (sound) data collected in these tests helps us understand how dolphin echolocation works, in terms of its capabilities and limitations.

Current Health Status of the Amur Stock Belugas (Sea of Okhotsk, Russia)

Current Health Status of the Amur Stock Belugas (Sea of Okhotsk, Russia)

This project built on the prior 6-year study of the western Okhotsk Sea belugas. The study focused on the belugas’ abundance, distribution and population structure, and was conducted in order to evaluate the sustainability of Sakhalin-Amur beluga stock. This programme, funded by Ocean Park, is to understand the health status of the belugas from the Sakhalin-Amur region and determine the factors currently affecting the sustainability of any removal.

Breeding and Reintroduction of Yellow-bibbed Lory

The yellow-bibbed lory (Lorius chlorocercus) is a species of parrot native to the eastern Solomon Islands. It was a species of conservation importance and became the focus of our research in 2014. Due to their special dietary requirements and specific territorial behaviour, many of these birds died in captivity during the 19th century. The goal of this project is to establish an assurance population through excellence in medical care and a breeding programme, with the aim to successfully produce healthy birds that can be reintroduced into their original habitat.


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