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Long-finned pilot whale

Pilot whales strand in New Zealand

Volunteer rescuers from Project Jonah, experts in attending strandings, were able to return nearly 30...
harbour-porpoise-chesil-beach-csip-zsl

Norway takes action to save porpoises from death in nets

In what the government describes as a rapid regulatory change, fishers in parts of Norway...
Photo by WDC

Go Team Ocean! The Cheeky Panda makes a splash for World Whale Day

Photo by Dr. Cara Miller On Sunday 21st February, in honour of World Whale Day,...
Common dolphin with injuries from fishing net

WDC highlights how UK Government can save a dolphin a day

Based on recent figures, it is estimated that around 1,000 porpoises, hundreds of dolphins and...

Latest endangered species list confirms all freshwater dolphins face battle to avoid extinction

A dolphin found in the Amazon river, the tucuxi, has been classed as endangered on the latest Red List issued by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation for Nature) – the body that assesses the survival prospects of plants, animals and fungi. This latest classification for the tucuxi now means that all the world's freshwater dolphins are now threatened.

The IUCN has assessed almost 130,000 species of plants and animals, of which more than a quarter are threatened with extinction. The tucuxi is found in South America along with the Amazon River Dolphin and Bolivian River Dolphin. The Ganges River Dolphin, Indus River Dolphin, Irrawaddy Dolphin and Yangtze Finless Porpoise are found in Asia.

Tucuxi dolphins face threats from pollution (toxic chemicals along with plastic, litter and oil spills seriously harming their health and their ability to have young), fishing gear (accidentally caught in fishing nets and lines, injuring or even killing them), and from hunting. Tucuxi are killed for their body parts or because fishermen see them as competition. Bizarrely, the eyes and genital organs from tucuxi are used by some local people as aphrodisiacs.

The future for all river/freshwater dolphins is not bright. River dolphins are among the most seriously endangered of all dolphins because they live in river systems, where space is far more limited than oceanic waters; and they live beside millions of people who compete for the same natural resources.  Prospects for river dolphins are likely to worsen as both threats to them and destruction of their habitats continue to increase. It is essential that we highlight important habitat areas for river dolphins to assist conservation efforts. Protecting the areas in nature that they need to survive is challenging but essential for their future survival.

Tucuxi © Fernando Trujillo/WDC

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