Irrawaddy? River? Dolphins?

Also known as the Mekong river dolphins or the Mahakham river dolphins, the Irrawaddy river dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) can be found in parts of Southeast Asia: Indonesia, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Philippines. Being a marine mammal, the Irrawaddy dolphin gives birth, produces milk to feed, and also breathes air. Their diet consists of fish and crustaceans. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, there are usually no more than 10 dolphins in a group. Individuals are very rarely seen.

The population of the Irrawaddy dolphins are decreasing in number, as their habitats are being destroyed by humans through the development of dams, deforestation, and mining. Yet considered a “priority” species, they are still killed incidentally in fisheries.

Currently, the conservation status of these animals in the Irrawaddy sub-population is shown as “CR,” meaning “Critically Endangered.” Due to their conservation status, the World Wildlife Foundation and other organizations such as the Whale and Dolphin conservation society, have made strict laws prohibiting the killing and capturing of these animals.


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