Dolphins in Asia's Mekong River on brink of extinction, group says
A World Wildlife Fund survey found 85 Irrawaddy dolphins left in Southeast Asia’s Mekong River.
August 16th, 2011
01:48 PM ET

Dolphins in Asia's Mekong River on brink of extinction, group says

A group of dolphins is on the brink of extinction in part because their calves are not surviving, the World Wildlife Fund reported.

There are 85 Irrawaddy dolphins left in Southeast Asia’s Mekong River, according to the conservation organization.

“Evidence is strong that very few young animals survive to adulthood, as older dolphins die off and are not replaced,” Dr. Li Lifeng, director of the World Wildlife Fund's freshwater program, said in a statement.

Irrawaddy dolphins are found in the Mekong River, the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar and the Mahakam River in Indonesia. While a survey of the dolphins was done only in the Mekong, the World Wildlife Fund reported that in all areas the species is critically endangered.

“These dolphins are at high risk of extinction by their small population size alone,” said Barney Long, the group’s Asian species expert. “With the added threats of gill net entanglement and high calf mortality, we are seriously concerned about their future.”

The danger of the species' extinction extends beyond the animal itself, the group said.

The dolphins are viewed as sacred by the Khmer and Lao people, the World Wildlife Fund noted.

Dolphin-watching ecotourism also is an "important source of income and jobs for communities" in these areas, the group said.

soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. leeintulsa

    Things go extinct every day. They're just not as well-liked or even known to exist.

    Seems we've done alright without the dodo. And i'm rather for the dinosaur extinction..

    You can't save everyone.. The world evolves like everything else.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. My name is Bansay and I SUCKKK!

    Who gives a phuck about the losers in Somalia? Thease "People" are so stupid they cant get out of their own way. The world will never miss any of them. Dolphins will be sorely missed.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. john Smith

    Tax the church our country will never have a debt crisis ever again in our history. We could pay off our national debt in 1 day just off the taxes that churches could be paying.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
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