Save the Mekong Dolphin from Extinction
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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site
Urge Prime Ministers Bouasone Bouphavanh and Hun Sen to implement laws to protect the dolphins' habitat from contamination
The small freshwater Mekong Dolphin is a critically endangered species, and could be soon extinct. Since 2003, the Mekong River population has suffered 88 deaths, and the current population is estimated only 64 to 76 dolphins. Pollutants in the river, dumped in the water from Cambodia through southern Laos, are compromising the animals' immune systems and contributing to the death toll.
Urge Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to implement laws to protect the Mekong dolphins' habitat. Sign the petition below and tell a friend.
The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin has been listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 2004. The small freshwater dolphins, which are distinguished by their round heads and short dorsal fins, inhabit a 190-kilometer (118-mile) stretch of the Mekong River between Cambodia and Laos.
The Mekong River is also home to 1,200 fish species, with approximately 50 of which are caught commercially, and has the second highest concentration of aquatic animals in the world, after the Amazon. Since 2003, the population of Mekong dolphins has suffered 88 deaths, more than sixty percent of which were calves less than two weeks old.
Toxic levels of pesticides such as DDT and environmental contaminants such as PCBs were found during analysis of the dead dolphin calves -- these pollutants may also pose a health risk to human populations living along the Mekong that consume the same fish and water as the dolphins. High levels of mercury, which is dumped in the river from gold mining activities, were also found in some of the dead dolphins. The mercury directly affects the dolphins' immune system, making the animals more susceptible to infectious diseases.
Take action today! Urge Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to implement laws to protect the Mekong Dolphins' habitat from contamination. Sign the petition below and tell a friend.
Dear Prime Ministers Bouasone Bouphavanh and Hun Sen,
I ask you to swiftly implement laws to stop contaminants from being dumped in the Mekong River. The river's pollution is taking the Mekong dolphin to near extinction - the dolphin population has suffered 88 deaths since 2003, of which over sixty percent were calves under two weeks old. The current population is estimated only 64 to 76 dolphins.
I urge you to take action against gold mines and several other industries that dump hazardous chemicals in the river. Pollutants such as DDT, PCBs and mercury where found during analysis of the dead dolphin calves, and they represent a threat not only to this marvelous dolphin species, but also to the health of the human population that consumes the fish caught in the area. The preservation of the dolphin's habitat needs to be enforced with stiffer penalties for those who break the law.
It would be a great tragedy if we couldn't show these beautiful animals to future generations -- please act now before the Mekong dolphin becomes extinct.