Coronavirus and the environment: Are there really dolphins and swans in Venice?

30 March 2020, 13:39

Has coronavirus really brought dolphins to Venice?
Has coronavirus really brought dolphins to Venice? Picture: PA/Twitter

By Zoe Adams

During a coronavirus pandemic all non-essential travel has been banned - so what has this done for the environment? And are there really dolphins in the canals in Venice?

Coronavirus has forced many countries to go into lockdown, people to self-isolate and social distance and for a lot of non-essential travel to be cancelled - but could this be a good thing for the environment?

People have been giving plenty of ‘likes’ over on social media sites for the news the coronavirus lockdown has improved animal welfare and nature itself - especially for dolphins and swans in Venice, apparently.

Why are people putting rainbows in their windows during coronavirus outbreak?

The statement you may have seen on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter was: “Here's an unexpected side effect of the pandemic. The water flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned.”

But are they true? Have swans and dolphins really returned to the Venice canals? Here’s what we know:

Are dolphins really swimming in Venice?

Unfortunately this isn’t as true as everyone would like it to be.

While the lake is reportedly a lot clearer than usual due to the lack of boats, the dolphin picture you’ve been seeing was actually taken in Sardinia, hundreds of miles away in the Mediterranean Sea.

Swans have always been swimming in the Venice canals according to reports
Swans have always been swimming in the Venice canals according to reports. Picture: PA

Have swans returned to Venice?

The swans featured in the viral post are in the Venice canals of Burano and while they are definitely there during the coronavirus pandemic, National Geographic has reported this isn’t unusual.