Friday, January 12, 2007

Polluted water endangering Indus river dolphins

Islamabad . As the Indus River Dolphin's population in Pakistan is under
severe threat due to polluted water, poaching, fragmentation of habitat due
to barrages and dolphin stranding, the UN environment agency has declared
2007, 'Year of the Dolphin' in an attempt to save one of the world's most
endangered mammal.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has listed industrial, agricultural and human
pollution, as well as the use of dams and barrages, which restrict the
dolphin's movement as some of the major threats facing the aquatic mammal.

Accidental catches by fishermen in the irrigation canals are also
contributing to the decline of dolphin population, the global conservation
organisation warns. The IUCN has already included the Indus Dolphin in its
Red List of mammals.

Latest evidence shows that the Indus River Dolphin is the second most
endangered dolphin species after the Yangtze River in China's largest river.

The survey led by WWF-Pakistan and Sindh and Punjab Wildlife departments
revealed that there are fewer than 1,100 Indus River dolphins along the
1,300km stretch of the Indus river system that are divided into five
populations due to the presence of six barrages on the Indus River.

Full story at

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