Featured Image Credit: All India Radio
By Sarah Sharkey
You may know that river dolphins all over Asia are struggling to survive. The curious creatures with rounded faces and greyish colored skin are something that everyone wants to save, but so far there has not been any positive signs of a potential recovery. Until now.
The most recent census of Irrawaddy dolphins along a stretch of river in Cambodia has given us all a reason to hope. The Mekong River census reported 92 dolphins in 2017’s survey, which is up from the 80 dolphins that were accounted for in 2015. The 15% increase is exciting and definitely a reason to keep hoping for a full recovery. However, the recent number is still less than the 200 dolphins counted in 1997.
The dolphins still face so many threats including overfishing, illegal nets, an increase in boat traffic, dam construction and more. The biggest threat is the nets that have been trapping these dolphins as by-catch. That specific kind of net is illegal, but that doesn’t mean that it has been eradicated from use.
Even with all of these obstacles, it is still encouraging that more dolphins are making their way into adulthood. Continued conservation efforts may help to save these dolphins after all!
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