24th October is the International Day of Freshwater Dolphins, a day in the greater world to celebrate freshwater dolphins as a unique part of the biological heritage, and to think carefully how we can all help preserve it for the next generation.

However, according to WWF, continuous research shows that in many countries’ species continue to be threatened by interconnection in mosquito nets, illegal fishing measures, increased habitat degradation and very high mortality in the young population, possibly related to disease and environmental pollution.

Recent efforts by the Government in many countries have led to the development of dolphin conservation areas that must protect against some of these threats and help opportunities for species to survive in water.

Dolphin Irawadi, Orquila Privirus, is found in only three rivers around the world: the Mekong River, Cambodia, and Laos, in Viet Nam, in the Makam River in Indonesian Borneo, and in the Ayaroadi River - the Irawadi River - in Myanmar. Each population is less than an attachment: 100 individuals, each of whom are included in the red list of threatened species established by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the highest level of threat.

Dolphins are unusual in that they live in freshwater habitats, hospitals and coastal marine environments, and exist in tropical Asia from the Philippines to India. The finless porpoise, Neophocaena phocaenoides, is found in the Yangtze River and also found in marine environments. Other freshwater dolphins are the Susu, Platanista gangetica, also known as the Ganges or Indus River dolphin, which is found in some South Asian river systems, while the Boto, Inia geoffrensis, the Bolivian River dolphin, Inia boliviensis, and the Tucuxci, Sotalia fluviatilis, are all found in South America.

Freshwater dolphins are poorly known and because of their dependence on the freshwater systems that also support many millions of people worldwide, are often threatened with extinction due to human impacts in their environment. All freshwater dolphins are considered threatened or data deficient on the IUCN Red List.

The International Day of Freshwater Dolphins is also a sad reminder of the first human being who caused the extinction of the newly lost Baji, Libbotts Faxlover, a beautiful and unique creature who lived so soon in the Chinese Yangtze River.

The Foundation has active projects for the conservation of freshwater dolphins worldwide, working with national partners and local communities to secure the future of these soup animals.

People all over the world celebrate the importance of riverine dolphins every October this scene to highlight dolphin bone.

Freshwater dolphins also play an important role in balancing, creating healthy environments and attracting ecotourism.

Why are we celebrating this day?

  • Raise awareness of the importance of dolphins for tourism.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of dolphins for local livelihoods
  • Raise awareness of the link between the conservation of dolphins and fish stocks.

The idea of celebrating this day is to increase public understanding of the value of preserving dolphins in the river by demonstrating a clear link between dolphins and local livelihoods. Dolphins reflect river health and biodiversity. The health river has rich biological diversity and sustainable fish stocks that can contribute to ecotourism and to improving the livelihoods of the local population.

Freshwater wandering in parts of South America and Asia is what one may consider as an unexpected number: dolphins. The sharks and marine turtles join the ranks of some of the oldest creatures on Earth, while they are more commonly connected to the oceans, dolphins and guns can already be found in many major rivers on two continents.

River dolphins serve as indicators of river health in their basins. While the dolphin population of a particular freshwater group flourished, the overall situation of the freshwater system also flourished. However, if this population is in decline, then it is considered a red flag for the ecosystem.

The organization works with riverine dolphin countries to change policies and practices to address direct threats to species such as by-catch and infrastructure, protect habitats and promote scientific research.

About the Author: Farjana Yeasmin Nishita is a Public Relationship Officer, Certified Youth Advocate, and a Researcher.