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First of its Kind Global Declaration of River Dolphins by 2030

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, 11 Countries Signed first-of-its-kind Global Declaration of River Dolphins by 2030.
  • The Eleven River dolphin range states are Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, and Venezuela.

More about the news

Primary Aim of the Declaration:

  • Reverse Decline: Halt and reverse the decline of all river dolphin species in both Asia and South America.
  • Effort Scaling: Boost collective actions to protect remaining river dolphin species. This includes funding and developing measures to tackle threats like gillnets and pollution, expanding research, and increasing protected areas.
  • River Health: Focus on enhancing the health of rivers vital for many communities, economies, and critical ecosystems.

 Eight Pillars of the Declaration:

  • Protected Areas: Establish a network of protected areas for dolphins.
  • River Dolphin Site Management: Enhance the management of these sites.
  • Research and Monitoring: Expand research activities and monitor dolphin populations.
  • Community Engagement: Involve local communities and Indigenous Peoples in conservation efforts.
  • Sustainable Fishing: Eradicate harmful fishing practices.
  • Water Quality & Quantity: Improve the water quality and ensure adequate quantity.
  • Awareness: Celebrate World River Dolphin Day to spread awareness.
  • Resources and Partnerships: Increase resource allocation and foster partnerships for conservation.

 Significance of River Dolphins

  • River dolphins are apex predators in prominent river systems and serve as indicators of river health. Since the 1980s, their populations have declined by 73%.

Surviving River Dolphin Species:

Amazon Dolphin (Boto):

  • Habitat: Exclusively freshwater.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered.

 Ganges Dolphin (Susu):

  • Habitat: Primarily in the Ganges and Brahmaputra River systems in India and Bangladesh.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered.

 Indus Dolphin (Bhulan):

  • Habitat: Pakistan and River Beas in Punjab, a tributary of the Indus River.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered.

 Irrawaddy Dolphin:

  • Habitat: Coastal areas of South and Southeast Asia, and rivers like Ayeyarwady, Mahakam, Mekong, and Chilika lake.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered.

 Tucuxi Dolphin:

  • Habitat: Amazon River system in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered.

 Yangtze Finless Porpoise:

  • Habitat: Exclusively in the Yangtze River, Asia’s longest river.
  • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered.

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