Thursday, Jul 24, 2014Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
SE Asia
 

Laos dam plan threatens existence of rare dolphin: WWF

Published on Feb 20, 2014 3:27 PM
 
A dolphin swims in the Mekong river in Kratie province some 300km north-east of Phnom Penh on March 24, 2012. A dam which Laos plans to build across the Mekong River could wipe out critically endangered dolphins in downstream Cambodia, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned on Thursday, Feb 20, 2014.-- PHOTO: AFP/GERRY RYAN/WORLD WILDLIFE FUND-CAMBODIA

PHNOM PENH (AFP) - A dam which Laos plans to build across the Mekong River could wipe out critically endangered dolphins in downstream Cambodia, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned on Thursday.

If built, the controversial Don Sahong dam in southern Laos would be just a kilometre upstream of the main stretch of water favoured by the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin, WWF said in a statement.

With an estimated 85 adult Irrawaddy dolphins, Cambodia hosts one of the largest populations of the species - which is recognisable by its bulging forehead and distinctive blunt beak.

Conservationists have called for the suspension of the hydropower scheme, saying any restriction of the waterway will curb the number of fish swimming downstream and cut off the dolphins' main food source.

 
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here

Videos