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Myanmar conservationists find newborn dolphins in Ayeyarwady

KYAW KO KO The Myanmar Times 17 DEC 2019

A file photo shows two Ayeyarwady dolphins swimming in a section of the Ayeyarwady River near Mandalay. Photo: Maung Zaw / The Myanmar Times

MANDALAY, Myanmar – Conservationists said Tuesday they have discovered two new baby dolphins in Ayeyarwady River between Mandalay and Kyauk Myaung township in Sagaing Region.

Ko Han Win of the local Ayeyarwady dolphin protection zone said marine workers spotted the baby dolphins earlier this month.

Ayeyarwady dolphin conservationists said the discovery of the two newborns brings to 24 the number of dolphins recorded between Mandalay and Kyauk Myaung.

“We are so glad about the discovery of the baby dolphins, though some were believed to have died,” said Ko Han Win.

The Ayeyawady dolphin protection zone in Mandalay, Mingun and Kyaung Myaung was established in 2015. The government declared the section of the Ayeyarwady River between Sagaing and Kachin State a protection zone in August.

The Fishing Department and non-governmental Wildlife Conservation Society are trying to educate the public about efforts to protect the dolphins.

Ayeyarwady dolphins, scientifically known as Orcaella brevirostris, are found in scattered groups near sea coasts and in estuaries and rivers in parts of the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia.

Most Ayeyarwady dolphin deaths in Myanmar can be attributed to electric fishing.

“Local people cooperate more as dolphin-watching tourism grows,” said Ko Han Win. “The number of fishermen illegally using electric fishing has fallen significantly. I think it’s a good sign that we can see calves now.”

A survey by conservationists in February found about 72 dolphins in the Ayeyarwady River between Mandalay and Bamaw township in Kachin.

The government has banned the use of gillnets and seine nets longer than 300 feet in protected areas of the river. – Translated


From: The Myanmar Times (MYANMAR)  DEcember 17,2019

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