Two Mekong Dolphin Calves Spotted in Cambodia

Two newborn Mekong dolphin calves have been sighted in the Mekong Flooded Forest Landscape (MFF) in Kratie, a northeastern province of Cambodia, said a press release of WWF-Cambodia made public on Monday.

The first calf, believed to be two or three weeks old, was spotted on Aug. 11 and immediately reported by local community living Prek Kreing village, Wattanak commune, Sambo district, while the second, suspected to be only a few days old, was sighted by local people and the WWF research team at the Kampi deep pool, 16 kilometres from Kratie town, on Aug. 13, it pointed out.

I am so happy to hear about the successful recruitment of the two new calves into the population. Without our dedicated river guards and tireless field work, we would not be able to welcome these newborns, said Mr. Seng Teak, WWF-Cambodia Country Director.

Such news shows encouraging signs of further stabilisation of the Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin population. According to the press release, during the period, January-August 2017, two dolphins died and eight dolphin births have been recorded. This is a high achievement compared to the same period last year (January-August 2016), when four dolphins died and only four were born. More than ever, there is hope to believe it is possible to reverse the trend of the Mekong Dolphin decline.

The biggest threats to the Mekong dolphins, especially the calves, are illegal fishing practices, declining water levels, river pollution, and new proposed hydropower dams on the Mekong mainstream. Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins are a Cambodian national treasure, yet, there are only an estimated 80 adults left in the Mekong river, a critically endangered species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.

WWF-Cambodia has been actively engaged in the Cambodian Mekong Dolphin Conservation Project since 2007 with the aim to reduce mortalities and increase the population through law enforcement, community outreach, livelihoods development and research.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press