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Rare Irrawaddy Dolphins Found In Indonesian Waters

The seas are home to some of the most brilliant minds on Earth.

In 2012, Irrawaddy dolphins were seen for the first-time in West Kalimantan. This is a region of Indonesian Borneo that is known for its dense tropical forests and rich wildlife.

Irrawaddy Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) jumping from water. Captive, Thailand.

The rare dolphins are also known as orcaella brevirostris. They were discovered during a WWF-Indonesia-sponsored study by the Regional Office for Marine, Coastal & Resources Management Pontianak.

“The existence of Irrawaddy dolphins was not known in West Kalimantan waters. We are pleased with the preliminary results and are hopeful that this will reveal more information about the distribution and population of this rare species.”

Albertus Tjiu is WWF-Indonesia’s Conservation Biologist and one of the most prominent scientists in the study.

The team also saw a group of Humpback dolphins, which is a strong indicator of how diverse the Kalimantan waters’ biodiversity.

Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) spitting water. Captive, Thailand.

“The results of this research indicate the importance of protecting dolphin habitats, starting at the origins of rivers in the Heart of Borneo.”

“To the lower rivers on the island, including the waterways of Batu Ampar mangroves, nypah forest, and narrow straits, and the coastal areas in Kubu Raya and West Kalimantan.”

There are approximately 6,000 Irrawaddy Dolphins worldwide, most of them living in coastal waters of Bangladesh.

Restricted populations can be found throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.

The IUCN has classified Irrawaddy dolphins as vulnerable, but the species is listed as critically endangered in certain areas, including the Mekong River and the Ayeyawardi River in East Kalimantan.

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