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Youths get chance to study river dolphins

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The WWF-Cambodia takes a group of youths to the dolphin sanctuary along the Mekong River in Kratie province to learn about at-risk Irrawaddy dolphins and the conservation approaches to keep the population going. WWF-CAMBODIA

Youths get chance to study river dolphins

The World Wide Fund for Nature-Cambodia (WWF-Cambodia) took 15 youths to the dolphin sanctuary in Kratie province for three days to learn about at-risk Irrawaddy dolphins along the Mekong River and the conservation approaches in place to keep the population going.

WWF-Cambodia’s public affairs and information manager Tep Asarith said the study tour in the Mekong flooded forest landscapes allowed the youths to observe the dolphins in their natural habitat and witness the efforts by public and private institutions to help the dolphins.

They learned about the approach that biodiversity researchers use to estimate the number of dolphins, he said.

“Youths met with officials stationed in Anlong Kampi [sanctuary]. They learned about the work of the river guard, the results and the various challenges faced,” he said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The youths learn about the approach that biodiversity researchers use to estimate the number of dolphins. WWF-CAMBODIA

Ven Puthealy, one of the youths on the trip, said the tour provided an opportunity to study dolphins in their natural protected area in Kratie.

The youths expect to share their experience through digital networks and encourage others to protect the remaining dolphins so they do not go extinct, he said.

According to a WWF-Cambodia report about Irrawaddy dolphins issued on October 24 to mark International Freshwater Dolphin Day, researchers estimate that only 89 dolphins remain in Cambodia’s Mekong River. This number has remained stable after a decline in the past decades.

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