Is the Mekong River dophin on the verge of disappearing ?
An unknown species
The Irrawaddy dolphin, also called bottlenose dolphin, is a beautiful mammal of about 1 meter, weighing 10 kg at birth and up to over 2 meters and weighing 130 kg at an adult size. It can live up to 30 years in freshwater or in saltwater. Its color varies between blue and light gray but can appear white in a muddy river. This is why, in addition to its similar morphology, it is often confused with the Beluga. They live in groups of up to six mammals but in extremely rare cases they form groups of more than 10 individuals.
An amazing player
Genetically closer to the Orc, the Irrawaddy dolphin is not like him at any point. It has a round and blunt head accompanied by a large melon, it therefore has no elongated snout like its congeners dolphins, but has a jaw composed of 15 to 20 pairs of teeth. It is also known as the “Mekong Smile” as the Irrawaddy dolphin always has a large smile that perfectly defines his player character. Its dorsal fin is small, triangular, rounded unlike the side fins that are long and wide. All these features make it a slow swimmer who does not jump out of the water. It is not allowed to swim with dolphins.
Irrawaddy dolphin, an endangered species ?
Identified in 1866 by the British biologist Richard Owen, the Irrawaddy dolphin was discovered near the coast of the estuary of the Southeast Asia. There are only a few groups in the world. We can find them in the Mekong, in Thailand, in Cambodia, in Vietnam, in the Mahakam River in Indonesia, in the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar. The bottlenose dolphin, is an endangered species and, unfortunately, very few measures are taken to preserve this lovely specimen and its habitat. Except in Laos or laws protects them from fisherman and hunters. But even if the nets of the fisherman cause death of several individuals, the main problem is in the degradation of its habitat and the lack of food. WWF is working with the government and local NGOs to protect the bottlenose dolphin.