Numbers of Mekong river dolphins stabilize

Posted on 06 December 2020

Latest data on numbers of the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin in Cambodia shows that the population has stabilized after decades of serious decline.

However, we believe that urgent action is still needed to safeguard the species, whose population of only 89 is restricted to just a 180km stretch of the Mekong River. Irrawaddy dolphins are fully protected under Cambodian law but face a variety of threats such as illegal fishing practices, overfishing and dam development. WWF and the Cambodian government are committed to working with local communities and other partners to take action, ranging from improving fish stocks to stronger enforcement of fisheries law. There has also been positive news for river dolphins in South America with the launch by WWF and partners of the continent’s first ever river dolphin database. This brings together key data – from dolphin populations to dam developments – that make for better decision-making about how to safeguard these vulnerable animals.