Sunday, August 21, 2011

World Wildlife Fund Calls for Urgent Action to Save Cambodia's Dolphins

An Irrawaddy dolphin in the Mekong River

A recent research by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has revealed that the population of the Irrawaddy dolphin in Cambodia's Mekong River is on the brink of extinction. The research showed that just 85 animals currently remain, putting them on the brink of extinction. As proof of the investigation, researchers uncovered that the survival rate of dolphin calves was very slow. Li Lifeng, director of WWF's Freshwater Program, stated that the research was based on identifying the animals through individually unique features of their dorsal fins which is used to estimate the population size. The recent population estimate was found to be slightly higher than the previous one, but researchers indicated that it had not increased over the last few years. Mr. Li further added that very few youngsters survive to adulthood once the adults die off. He also stated that pressures of gill net entanglement and high calf mortality rate has left the team worried about the dolphins' future.
Fishing has contributed to the downfall of these dolphins

I'm also very much shocked to find out about the plight of these dolphins. But what really surprised me is that a man named Touch Seang Tana, who is the chairman of Cambodia's Commission for Conservation and Development of Mekong River Dolphins Eco-Tourism Zone, rejected WWF's finding. He stated that four dolphins were killed last year as a result of fishing nets, but seven newborns were found. He further added that the total population of these dolphins has now numbered between 155 and 177 from 100 animals in 2006. I personally do not know which theory is true, but based on this article, I can say that Irrawaddy dolphins are in a great need of help. Earlier, it was believed that the Yangtze River dolphin was declared "extinct" by researchers and no one knows to this day about the animal's status. But now, these dolphins are on the verge of extinction. Without any urgent action, their populations will disappear.

View article here

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