11 Countries Sign Declaration for Global Protection of River Dolphins by 2030

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Source: The post is based on the article “11 Countries Sign Declaration for Global Protection of River Dolphins by 2030” published in “WWF” on 31st October 2023

Why in the News?

Eleven Asian and South American countries have signed a Global Declaration for Protection of River Dolphins.

What is the Global Declaration for Protection of River Dolphins?

Signed by11 countries (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, and Venezuela)
AimTo halt the decline of all river dolphin species by 2030
Measures to be takenImprove water quality in the dolphins’ habitat, create protected areas, tackle overfishing and involve Indigenous communities in the affected regions in protecting the animals.

What are River Dolphins?

River dolphins are a group of fully aquatic mammals that reside exclusively in freshwater or brackish water. 

The six surviving river dolphins species are: Amazon, Indus, Ganges, Irrawaddy, Tucuxi and Yangtze finless porpoise. A seventh species, the Chinese river dolphin or baiji, was declared extinct in 2007.

Since the 1980s, river dolphin populations have declined by 73% due to several threats like unsustainable fishing practices, hydropower dams, pollution from agriculture, industry and mining, and habitat loss.

Amazon River DolphinIt is the largest species of river dolphin.It is exclusively found in South America.
IUCN Status: Endangered
Ganges River DolphinFound in the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers
IUCN Status: Endangered
Indus River DolphinFound in Pakistan and River Beas, a tributary of the Indus River in Punjab, India.
IUCN Status: Endangered
Irrawaddy DolphinFound in brackish water near coasts, river mouths and estuaries in South and Southeast Asia.
IUCN Status: Endangered
Tucuxi DolphinsFound in the rivers of Amazon Basin
IUCN Status: Endangered
Yangtze Finless PorpoiseEndemic to the Yangtze River in China
IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

UPSC Syllabus: Environment

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