How many irrawaddy dolphins are left in the world 2018

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The last 92 Irrawaddy dolphins in Mekong River may not survive

how many irrawaddy dolphins are left in the world 2018

Following decades of seemingly irreversible decline, the Irrawaddy river dolphin population in the Date: April 23, double the length of the dolphins' remaining home range—from core dolphin habitat. World Wildlife Fund.

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Map data provided by IUCN. The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins inhabit a mile stretch of the river between Cambodia and Lao PDR and are scarce—just 92 individuals are estimated to still exist. These dolphins have a bulging forehead, short beak, and teeth on each side of both jaws. Swimming through fresh waters in parts of South America and Asia is what one might consider an unexpected figure: the dolphin. It joins the ranks of the shark and the sea turtle as some of the oldest creatures on Earth.

Following decades of seemingly irreversible decline, the Irrawaddy River dolphin population in the Mekong region is rebounding. According to a recent census released by WWF and the Government of Cambodia, the number of dolphins in the region has risen from 80 to 92 in the past two years—the first increase since scientists began keeping records more than twenty years ago. This historic population increase can be attributed to several factors, including more effective patrolling by river guards and an increase in the confiscation of illegal gillnets, which can trap and drown dolphins. The first official census in estimated that there were Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong, a figure that fell steadily due to bycatch and habitat loss. By , only 80 dolphins remained. Now, growing numbers are an encouraging sign for the long-term survival of the species.

Experts are concerned that the Mekong dolphin is unlikely to survive Cambodia's modernisation as a new dam is planned. Kratie, Cambodia - At the dolphin ticket office there is a tattered page stuck to the wall calling on readers to save dolphins as part of "Cambodia's splendid natural heritage". It says, "building dams destroy habitats" and lists threats to dolphins, including pollutions and gillnets. It looks like an insect-eaten papyrus. The Irrawaddy dolphin is a critically endangered species.



Irrawaddy dolphin

Irrawaddy Dolphin

In the Mekong River, the Irrawaddy dolphins are known to range within a kilometer mile stretch from Kratie in Cambodia to the slightly upstream Khone Falls complex in Laos. In , researchers estimated that dolphin numbers within this stretch was no more than individuals. This figure fell to 80 dolphins in a survey carried out in Over the past two years, however, dolphin numbers seem to be on the rise. Whenever the researchers spotted dolphins, they stopped the boat, then spent about 30 to minutes observing and photographing the animals. The WWF team found other signs of improvements in the Mekong dolphin population. More dolphins seem to be surviving into adulthood, for instance, and there has been an overall increase in the number of dolphin calves and a drop in dolphin deaths.

The Irrawaddy dolphin Orcaella brevirostris is a euryhaline species of oceanic dolphin found in discontinuous subpopulations near sea coasts and in estuaries and rivers in parts of the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia. One of the earliest recorded descriptions of the Irrawaddy dolphin was by Sir Richard Owen in based on a specimen found in , in the harbor of Visakhapatnam on the east coast of India. It has sometimes been listed variously in a family containing just itself and in Monodontidae and in Delphinapteridae. There is now widespread agreement to list it in the family Delphinidae. The species name brevirostris comes from the Latin meaning short-beaked. It is very closely related to the Australian snubfin dolphin Orcaella heinsohni. The two snubfin dolphins were only recognised as separate species in when a genetic analysis showed that the population found along the coast of northern Australia forms a second species in the genus Orcaella.

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Irrawaddy dolphin numbers increase for the first time in 20 years

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