Monday, February 06, 2006

Irrawaddy dolphins near extinction

Awful news regarding my favourite animal, the dolphins. The rare Asian dolphin, the Irrawaddy is now feared to be nearing extinction after 10 of them have been found dead in Cambodia's Mekong River. From Reuters:
The deaths mean a 10 percent drop in the number of Irrawaddy dolphins living in the Mekong, previously thought to be between 80 and 100. They are restricted to a 190km (115 mile) stretch of the river in the Cambodia/Laos border area...

The WWF said that at least one of the dolphins drowned after becoming entangled in fishing gillnets, the biggest threat to the Mekong population. But other factors such as pollution may be responsible as eight of the 10 dead dolphins were calves, it said.

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