Pink Ice Cream, Pink Donuts, Pink Dolphins?

These unusual creatures live in rivers but are facing extinction. Efforts are underway to track and protect pink dolphins in South America.

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Yes, pink dolphins are real, but not for long if we don’t take care of them. Pink dolphins are an endangered species with an estimated 3,000 being killed every year, according to National Geographic. 

According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF)  this species of dolphin can be found in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela. “It is a relatively abundant freshwater cetacean with an estimated population in the tens of thousands. However, it is classified as vulnerable in certain areas due to dams that fragment and threaten certain populations, and from other threats such as contamination of rivers and lake,” according to the source.

Additionally, the pink dolphin, also known as the Amazon River Dolphin also  has become  endangered as a result of  poachers who hunt these mammals for  their meat which is then used as ” bai” for other fish. Pink dolphins eat small turtles, catfish, fish and crabs and in addition to humans, other predators  include a caimans (alligators), large snakes, and jaguars, reports National Geographic. 

The dolphin is also the largest freshwater animal on Earth. Pink dolphins can also be pale blue and grow up to 9 feet long. They can weigh up to 300 pounds and live up to 30 years. 

 Since the Amazon River is so polluted and the dolphins’  eyes are so small, they use echolocation. Echolocation is used to locate their species and to identify objects using sounds they make that “echo” off of objects.  Pink dolphins are also endangered because of the litter in the water. Because of this, 3,000 pink dolphins are killed each year, according to WWF. 

So what can be done to prevent the pink dolphin from becoming extinct? WWF offices in Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia coordinated a tri-national effort to tag and study river dolphins, applying satellite GPS technology to the task for the first time, according to their website. According to BBC News, drones are also being used to track and count these creatures to collect data in the hope that the ” footage is building up the missing data on dolphin populations that is crucial to ensuring their protection and long-term survival.”

To learn more about the plight of the pink dolphin and efforts to ensure their survival, you can check out the following sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/26/indigenous-communities-use-drones-to-protect-amazon-river-dolphins

Saving the Amazon River Dolphin

 

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