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‘Milestone’ river dolphin study completed

Wednesday 12 March 2008

dolphinAn ‘ambitious’ survey of South America’s river dolphin population that could offer valuable evidence for the future of the species has been completed this week, reports WWF. The thirteen river, five nation census was carried out over two years and covered 3600km of waterways. The study revealed a baseline population of 3188 for pink and gray dolphins.

The successful investigation is expected to help form a standard methodology for assessing river dolphins around the world and increasing conservation techniques, and has been certified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“This census gives us a baseline population for these species and gives us an insight into the state of the ecosystems they inhabit,” commented Dr. Fernando Trujillo, the project’s scientific leader. “These results also provide the foundation for designing an evaluation and monitoring program for South American river dolphins.”

“Although the situation for river dolphins in South America is not the same as for dolphins in Cambodia, for instance, both have areas where we need to raise the alarm against threats like pollution, indiscriminate hunting and the development of infrastructure megaprojects,” add Dr. Trujillo.

The project was financed by WWF Switzerland, WWF Latin America and the Caribbean’s Freshwater Program.



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