A population of one of the world's most endangered dolphins is under serious threat in the Halda River, Bangladesh. In the four month period up to February, 17 South Asian river dolphins (also known as the Ganges River dolphin) died in the river and experts are now calling for their home to be declared a sanctuary and proper protection implemented for the dolphins.
Further progress has been recently made in reaching the goal of identifying and protecting important habitat for river dolphins.
The Ganges River dolphin is one of the most threatened freshwater dolphins in the world. They live in rivers of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. Nepal’s rivers all flow into the Ganges River in India and the dolphins in Nepal are living in the upstream extremes of their range.
The Bangladesh government has taken action to ban the movement of shipping traffic indefinitely in the Shela river in the Sundarbans region of the country. The announcement came after a ship carrying over a thousand tonnes of coal capsized, leading to concerns about potential pollution in the river. In 2014, the area was previously hit by a major oil spill.
Bengal in India will soon have the country's first community reserve for the endangered Ganges River dolphin, which inhabits the major rivers of the sub-continent.
The reserve would be created over 500km of the Hooghly river, a stretch of the Ganges between Malda and the Sundarbans. It is hoped it will be designated with the next year.
Dolphins living close to humans face more threats than those that live far from land and far from human intervention. Dolphins found in coastal and riverine environments therefore are in more immediate danger of extirpation.
WDC is working with Rafael da Silva Rocha, of the Brazilian Public Prosecution Service, and other partners in Brazil to stop the brutal slaughter of Amazon River dolphins, known locally as 'botos'. Thank you to everyone who signed our letter of support to Rafael.
A rare Ganges river dolphin (also known as the South Asian river dolphin or susu) has reportedly been killed by poachers in a canal in Uttar Pradesh, India.
The poachers removed the dolphin and took it back to their village. Local authorities have subsequently arrested one person in connection with the incident.