For years, scientists thought that a rare dolphin that swims in the murky waters of the Indus and Ganges Rivers — located in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh — was one of the most endangered marine mammals on Earth. Now, it turns out the situation is even more dire for these nearly-extinct creatures. Because it turns out these river dolphins aren't actually just one species of endangered animal. They are two distinct species. Meaning they're both twice as endangered as previously thought.Sign the petition to demand that international governments work together to protect these two rare, critically endangered dolphin species!
Researchers estimate that in 2017, around 2,000 Indus river dolphins existed in the world, with their numbers thought to be increasing slowly over time as communities and governments come together to improve protections. The Ganges river dolphin population, however, is likely declining. Only a few thousand of these animals remain alive, swimming in rivers flowing through India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
Researcher Gill Braulik, who led the study at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St. Andrews, summed it up best: "Recognizing the species-level differences between Indus and Ganges river dolphins is extremely important, as only a few thousand individual dolphins of each species remain. My hope is that our findings will bring much-needed attention to these remarkable animals, helping to prevent them sliding towards extinction."
These special marine mammals need and deserve our help! The main threats to their survival include environmental degradation, such as pollution and water contamination — which are a direct result of human action. It's imperative that we ensure the health of these rivers in order to keep these dolphins alive.
Luckily, some local communities are already working on this, but we must lend our support.Tell the United Nations to commit resources and financing to help local communities work together to reduce water pollution and save these dolphins!