09 April 2009

Population Explosion, Kind Of

Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), Vulnerable

In early April, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced that a population of close to 6000 Irawaddy Dolphins has been discovered in Bangladesh. Before the discovery of the populations in Bangladesh, only a few small pockets of dolphins were known, most numbering less than 150. In short, the dolphins from Bangladesh have increased the known population more than six times.

Brian Smith, who led the study, expressed optimism for the future of the Irrawaddy Dolphin, but cautioned that the many threats still exist, including entanglement in fishing nets, declining freshwater supplies, and climate change.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is working with Bangladeshi officials to create a sanctuary for the dolphins in the mangrove forests where they live.

Keep your fingers crossed if you want to help the Irrawaddy Dolphin. Or you can take action and send an email to your Congressperson (if you live in the US), or support the WCS in their mission of Saving Wildlife.

Thanks to Colie for sharing the news.

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