07 April 2009

6,000 good news

The threatened Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) population seems to be healthier than previously thought, at least in one place.

The species is globally threatened by mortality in fishing gear, vessel strikes, habitat loss and degradation, and it has been classified as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.

Unexpectedly, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society have recently estimated that nearly 6,000 of these cetaceans live in freshwater regions of Sundarbans mangrove forest and adjacent waters of the Bay of Bengal, in Bangladesh.

The study, published in the Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, highlights that there is at least one place in the world where Irrawaddy dolphins are found in relatively large numbers.

Silvia Bonizzoni

Photo by WCS

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