Third endangered dolphin found dead in Mekong Delta in ten days. WWF raises alarm.

Two freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins swimming in the Mekong river in Cambodia. The population has significantly declined during the last 25 years. Photo: Dagbladet

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and conservationists raises alarm after three endangered freshwater dolphins, of the Irrawaddy species, have been found dead within ten days of each other in the Mekong river in the Eastern province of Kratie in Cambodia.

According to CBS News, WWF said in an announcement the death of the third dolphin points towards an increasingly alarming situation and the need for an intensive law enforcement must be urgently conducted in the dolphin habitats.

It is believed the latest found dolphin, a healthy female estimated to be between seven and ten years old, died from entanglement in an illegal fish line.

In the statement, Seng Teak, WWF Cambodia Director, advocated initiating day and night patrols to protect the remaining dolphins in the Mekong Delta and said the recent increase in illegal fishing in the dolphin conservation areas will destroy the dolphin population in Cambodia.

The Irrawaddy dolphin is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are found in two additional freshwater rivers in Myanmar and Borneo, Indonesia.

In 1997, the total population of Irrawaddy dolphins in Cambodia was about 200 which, in 2020, fell to an estimated 89. WWF said 29 deaths have occurred during the past three years.

IUCN red list:


About Jeannette Hinrup

Jeannette Sophie Hinrup is a Danish environmental geographer traveling South East Asia while writing for ScandAsia.

View all posts by Jeannette Hinrup

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *