WDCS is concerned about the future for these Bolivian river dolphins (also known locally as bufeo) and is actively working with local partners to improve protection and conservation in Bolivia. This new legislation bans fishermen from catching the freshwater dolphins and also declares the species a national treasure.
The Bolivian armed forces have been called on to protect the habitats of the pink dolphins which is threatened by over fishing, pollution from mercury used in illegal gold mining, and erosion in the Amazon.
A feature of this primitive looking dolphin are the ‘chubby cheeks’ which it is believed may obstruct its downward vision and may be the reason they are often seen swimming upside down. Amazon pink river dolphins are slow swimmers and generally seen alone or in pairs, except during the dry season when they will gather in groups of 10 to 15 individuals.
Alison Wood, river dolphin conservation lead at WDCS said; “We congratulate President Morales on taking these steps. He is right to be proud of Bolivia’s very own precious river dolphin and be concerned about its future.
Critically, the new law bans deliberate killing, the most serious threat to river dolphins. We would also urge the Bolivian Government to address the other threats that these dolphins still face including the construction of dams in the north of the country and to support WDCS’s Bolivian river dolphin expert, Enzo Aliaga-Rossel, in his efforts to protect Bolivian river dolphins.”