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Wei-Lun Chang 張維倫

M.Sc. (2011)

E-mail: hi.3000kimo(AT)


Academic Record
  • M.Sc. (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), National Taiwan University (2011)

  • B.Sc. (Life Science), National Taiwan University (2009)


Social structure and reproductive parameters of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) off the west coast of Taiwan. (2011).  M.Sc. Thesis (with distinction).  National Taiwan University [PDF


Dr. Lien-Siang Chou, National Taiwan University

Dr. Leszek Karczmarski, The University of Hong Kong

Synopsis:  I completed my Master degree at National Taiwan University (NTU) under a joint supervision of Prof. L-S Chou (NTU) and Dr. Leszek Karczmarski (HKU). My research project investigated the population structure, social behaviour and reproductive dynamics of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) off the west coast of Taiwan, a small population numbering less than 100 individuals and listed under the IUCN criteria as Critically Endangered.  In my study, I used photo-identification mark-recapture techniques to study the behavioral and reproductive dynamics and, during a 4-year study period (2007-2010) with 352 boat-based surveys and over 60,000 photographs, I photo-catalogued 98 individuals, of which 22 were reproductively active females and 27 were calves. Hierarchical cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling revealed that the population consists of two communities, each with a moderately fluid pattern of geographic and social fidelity. Although the communities are not entirely discrete, their interactions are limited to "casual acquaintances” while modeled lagged identification rates suggest that “emigration and reimmigration” best describes their movement and ranging pattern. Although some individuals can be seen in both communities, their heterogeneous movement pattern indicates that over a longer time scale they prefer a certain region which is their respective community range. The degree of separation between the two communities requires further investigation, but it seems to correspond with features of local habitat; and it is possible that historically the separation is a relatively recent event related to anthropogenic impacts, as there is an area of increased industrial activity located approximately in the middle between the two communities which might act as a human-caused barrier. The dolphins give birth throughout the year, but with a peak in spring and summer.  A suite of estimated population parameters indicates slow population growth rates, which further highlights the vulnerability and sensitive conservation status of this dolphin species in Taiwanese waters, underscoring the notion that an informed conservation management plan is urgently needed.

Employment History
  • Research Assistant, Cetacean Ecology Lab, The Swire Institute of Marine Science (2012 - 2015)

  • Research Assistant, Cetacean Laboratory, National Taiwan University (2011-2012)


Karczmarski L, Huang S-L, Wong W-H, Chang W-L, Chan SCY, Keith M (2017).  Distribution of a coastal delphinid under the impact of long-term habitat loss: Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins off Taiwan's west coast.  Estuaries and Coasts 40: 594–603.  DOI: 10.1007/s12237-016-0146-5 


Chang W-L, Karczmarsk, L, Huang S-L, Gailey G, Chou L-S (2016).  Reproductive parameters of the Taiwanese humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis).  Regional Studies in Marine Science 8: 459–465.  DOI: 10.1016/j.rsma.2016.08.001


Wang X, Wu F, Chang W-L, Hou W, Chou S-L., Zhu Q, (2016). Two separated populations of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) on opposite sides of the Taiwan Strait: Evidence from a larger-scale photo-identification comparison.

Marine Mammal Science 32, 390–399.


Karczmarski L, Huang S-L, Or CKM, Gui D, Chan SCY, Lin W, Porter L, Wong W-H, Zheng R, Ho Y-W, Chui SYS, Tiongson AJC, Mo Y, Chang W-L, Kwok J HW, Tang RWK, Lee ATL, Yiu S-W, Keith M, Gailey G & Wu Y (2016). Humpback dolphins in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta: Status, threats and conservation challenges. Advances in Marine Biology 73, 26–63.


Huang S-L, Chang W-L, Karczmarski L (2014).   Population trends and vulnerability of humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis off the west coast of Taiwan.  Endangered Species Research 26: 147–159.


Yang W-C, Chang W-L, Kwong K-H, Yao Y-T, Chou L-S (2013).  Prevalence of epidermal conditions in critically endangered Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the waters off Western Taiwan.  Pakistan Veterinary Journal 33, 505–509.


Chou L-S, Chang W-L,, Wu YJ & Yu HY. (2013). Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in the waters of Kinmen: Distribution, habitat usage and population structure [in Chinese with English abstract]. Journal of National Park 23, 1–10.

Online Resources

Wong W-H, Gailey G, Chan SCY, Sychenko O, Or CKM, Yiu S-W, Chang W-L, Behrmann C & Karczmarski L (2012).  Users Manual: DISCOVERY 1.2  Web address: [PDF]

Conference / Workshop Contributions

Chang W-L, Karczmarski L, Chou L-S (2013).   Nursing stage affects the spatial pattern and social behavior of female Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins off Taiwan.  20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, New Zealand.​


Cesario A, Costa M, Fumagalli M, Chang, W-L, Notarbartolo di Sciara G, Karczmarski L (2013). Evidence of male alliances in spinner dolphins off Samadai reef, Red Sea, Egypt. 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Chang W-L, Chou L-S, Karczmarski L (2011).  Population structure of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Taiwan.  19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Tampa, Florida, USA.


Chang W-L, Yu H-Y, Chou L-S (2010).  Identification of mother-calf pairs of Chinese white dolphins along the western coast of Taiwan.  Workshop on population connectivity and conservation of Sousa chinensis off Chinese coast, Nanjing, China.


Yu H-Y, Lin T-H, Chang W-L, Huang S-L, Chou L-S (2010).  Using the mark-recapture method to estimate the population size of Sousa chinensis in Taiwan.  Workshop on population connectivity and conservation of Sousa chinensis off Chinese coast, Nanjing, China.


Chang W-L, Yu H-Y, Lin T-H, Chou L-S (2009).  Preliminary research on Chinese white dolphin social structure in Taiwanese western coast.   18th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Québéc, Canada.


Chang W-L, Chou L-S (2009).  The preliminary ecological research on Chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in Kinmen waters.   World Ocean Week in Xiamen 2009 - International conference on cetacean conservation in China.

Chang W-L, Lin T-H, Lin C-C, Chou L-S (2008).  Estimating the population abundance of Chinese white dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in waters off western Taiwan.  Symposium on Cetacean Research and Conservation across Taiwan Strait, Wuhan, China.  

© Carmen Or

© Stephen Chan

© Wei-Lun Chang

Chinese white dolphin mom and neonate
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