Comeback time for the Irrawaddy Dolphin?

The discovery of a new population of Irrawaddy Dolphins has boosted the hopes of conservationists working to protect them, reports The Observer.

Researchers attached to the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society have confirmed that they have found nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy Dolphins in the Sunderbans mangrove habitat of Bangladesh, bordering the Bay of Bengal.

The Observer report said:

Until this new Bangladesh population was found, figures from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated the Sundarbans population to be around 450.

River dolphins worldwide are threatened due to habitat destruction and trawler fishing in the large rivers of the world. The Irrawaddy Dolphin is listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN’s Red List of endangered species.

In June 2008, I had an interesting conversation with the author Amitav Ghosh about the possibility of Irrawaddy Dolphins inhabiting the mouths of the Mandovi and Zuari rivers in Goa.


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