Featured Image Credit: Sebastián Castañeda / WWF Peru
By Jessica Kittel
Ready for some good news? In conjunction with Pro Delphinus, World Wildlife Fund Peru recently completed a population census of the pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) and the gray dolphin (Sotalia fluviatilis). The study focused on the Marañon and the Huallaga rivers in Peru, both of which are major branches of the Amazon river.
This study, which covered over 300 km over a span of three days, has revealed rich populations of both species!
This census is the first to be undertook in the region. Due to this former lack of information on the river dolphin populations, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have not had enough data to classify these species for the IUCN Red List. Hopefully, with this new information, a re-evaluation will occur, and an accurate classification can be reached.
Both the Pink dolphin and the Gray dolphin are native to Peru and are believed to be at risk as a result of local hydroelectric power projects. These projects interfere with both species’ migration patterns. The pink dolphin is also at risk due to the fact that they are used as catfish fishing bait by local residents.
It’s great to hear they are doing well despite these threats!