Strict Standards: Declaration of PressRelease::full_url() should be compatible with NewArticle::full_url($prefer = false) in /home/enn/public_html/objects/Releases.php on line 52
: Mekong dolphins on the brink of extinction



From: WWF
Published June 18, 2009 11:12 AM

Mekong dolphins on the brink of extinction

The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) population inhabits a 190km stretch of the Mekong River between Cambodia and Lao PDR. Since 2003, the population has suffered 88 deaths of which over 60 percent were calves under two weeks old. The latest population is estimated between 64 and 76 members.

"Necropsy analysis identified a bacterial disease as the cause of the calf deaths. This disease would not be fatal unless the dolphin’s immune systems were suppressed, as they were in these cases, by environmental contaminants," said Dr Verné Dove, report author and veterinarian with WWF Cambodia.

ADVERTISEMENT

Researchers found toxic levels of pesticides such as DDT and environmental contaminants such as PCBs during analysis of the dead dolphin calves. These pollutants may also pose a health risk to human populations living along the Mekong that consume the same fish and water as the dolphins.

Article continues

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

2014©. Copyright Environmental News Network