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Cambodia records 4th newborn rare dolphin this year

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) – Cambodia welcomed a newborn Irrawaddy dolphin, bringing the total number of newborn dolphin calves to four so far this year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said in a news release on Friday.

The fourth dolphin calf was spotted on Thursday at the Kampi dolphin pool in northeastern Kratie province while swimming alongside five adult dolphins, the news release said, adding that the new calf was about five days old.

Newborn Irrawaddy dolphin in Cambodia. PHOTO: Cambodia Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

According to the news release, six dolphin calves were registered in 2022, and the same number was also reported in 2021.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Cambodia congratulated the joint efforts of the MAFF’s Fisheries Administration and WWF for this important newborn dolphin calf record in 2023.

 “The research team of the Fisheries Administration and WWF are conducting photo identification surveys along the Mekong habitats in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces in order to monitor the dolphins’ situation and estimate their population number for 2023,” the WWF said in a news release.

The Irrawaddy dolphins have been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species since 2004.

The Fisheries Administration estimated that there are approximately 90 Irrawaddy dolphin populations in the Cambodian portion of the Mekong River in the Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.