My HKDCS internship

My HKDCS internship

Friday, 25 September 2015

During my university life, I was looking forward to gain practical experience in field of wildlife conservation.  Due to my great interest in marine mammal, I joined the HKDCS internship after my graduation.

Some people asked me: ‘Why don’t you spend more time in your graduation trip or find a new job as you had already graduated?’.  Even though I really want to travel around the world and have a long vacation, I also wish to have a productive journey which allow me to learn more in the aspect of environmental science.  Therefore, I prefer joining the internship rather than extending my travel or starting a long term job.

blog 1My internship involves 3 types of work: 1) boat survey, 2) land-based survey and 3) data processing and input.  Conducting a boat survey allow me to follow the experts to apply the line-transect method to assess the abundance and distribution of the Chinese white dolphins and finless porpoise populations.  Also, photos of the dorsal fin were taken from the sighted dolphins in parallel for identification.  This photo-identification on one hand prevent the duplication of sighting, on the other hand help us to study the life history, living range and social structure of the dolphins.  As for the land based survey, I assisted researchers to use the theodolite to track the movement and behavior of the dolphin in order to study their response to the artificial impacts generated from inshore constructions and marine traffic.  In addition, I was granted the opportunity to join another land-based survey which was organized by the WWF.  I had to record any sighting of dolphins, measure their dive time interval and monitor the dolphin watching activities.

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In the office, I was responsible to process the calculation and digital input of the raw data collected from the surveys.  The office is a mini library where a considerable amount of books related to the cetacean biology and conservation are stored.  I had not only acquire knowledge from reading these books but also the news clippings which filed the local news about dolphins published from 1999 to 2015.

Sailing across different water territories in Hong Kong are one of the most special and unique experience I ever had.  Despite the fact that I occasionally suffered from seasick, I love travelling to various locations in the water where I had not been to before.  From the boat survey, I saw lots of cute dolphins and enjoyed the magnificent views of the rock, mountain and sea in Hong Kong.

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More importantly, I am glad that I had made a lot of friends I cherished.  They guided me through the whole internship and give me a lot of pleasure.  They are devoted to make contribution in the field of the wildlife conservation and stand for the animal right. Talking to them help me to gain insight of their perspective regarding to the environmental conservation issues.  For example, Taison is a staff who becomes a vegetarian in the hope of  discouraging cruelty and abuse to animals. Chatting with the WWF volunteers and the captains of our survey vessel also give me a lot of information about the dolphin conservation.

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This is a unforgettable journey which I don’t regret to join~ ?


Posted by Kar Long Leung