Rare Irrawaddy Dolphins Found In Indonesian Waters

Some of the greatest minds on earth live in the oceans. Dolphins are intelligent, highly social creatures who are the only mammals known to have complex communication systems.

Back in 2012 it was noted by marine biologists that Irrawaddy dolphins were spotted in West Kalimantan of Indonesian Borneo. This area is known for its wildlife and dense forests.

They are also known as orcaella brevirostris. The rare dolphins species was discovered in Bali, Indonesia, when scientists from WWF-Indonesia and the Regional Office for Marine, Coastal & Resources Management Pontianak (BPSPL) made a study there.

“The presence of Irrawaddy dolphins in West Kalimantan waters was previously unknown, so we are excited with the results of this preliminary study and hope this will help reveal information on the  population and distribution of this unique species.”

The study was led by WWF Indonesia’s Conservation Biologist, Albertus Tjiu, who is one of the leading scientists.

The team had also encountered groups of Humpback dolphins, which strongly evidences that the waters around Kalimantan are rich in biodiversity.

“The results of this study indicate the importance of protecting the dolphins’ habitat, from the origins of the rivers in the Heart of Borneo.”

“To the lower rivers of the island, including waterways of Batu Ampar mangroves and nypah forests, the narrow straits and the coastal areas of Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan.”

Globally there are over 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins. The majority of them being found in the coastal waters of Bangladesh.

The remaining population is scattered through Southeast Asia. They are located in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as the northeastern coast of Australia.

The Irrawaddy dolphin hasn’t been super lucky as its currently listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. In some areas, such as the Mekong River, Ayeyawardi River, and Mahakam River, they’re listed as critically endangered.