16 Feb 2012:
Endangered Freshwater Dolphins
To Be Protected by Bangladesh Sanctuaries
The government of Bangladesh has created three new wildlife sanctuaries
for the endangered Ganges River and Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins, the last two remaining species of freshwater dolphins in Asia.
On China’s Yangtze,
A Push to Save Species
The Yangtze has been carved up by dams, used as an open sewer, and subjected to decades of overfishing. Now, Chinese scientists — alarmed by the disappearance of the Yangtze river dolphin and other creatures — are calling for a moratorium on fishing in the world’s third-longest river.
READ THE e360 REPORT
Working with the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to identify key habitat for the dolphins, Bangladesh officials created the sanctuaries in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem. The three sanctuaries will protect the dolphins in 19.4 miles of mangrove channels with a total of 4.1 square miles — a small area that WCS biologists characterized as the start of a wider effort to save the dolphins. No precise numbers exist on the number of remaining Ganges River and Irrawaddy dolphins, although in 2009 WCS scientists discovered a population of roughly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins. The two dolphin species have suffered severe population declines because of fatal entanglements in fishing gear and the depletion of their prey as huge amounts of fish and crustaceans are caught as by-catch in fine-mesh “mosquito” nets used to catch fry for shrimp farming. A third Asian species of freshwater dolphin, the Yangtze River dolphin in China, recently went extinct.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.