amazon.jpg

Questions

Why are they endangered, what's happening to them?
Is anyone trying to help them, if so what are they doing for them?
How many of them are left?

external image dolphin1.jpg

Characteristics

Amazon River dolphins are considered the smartest and rarest species of all fresh water dolphins. They have a brain capacity 40% larger than a human's and are considered loners. These dolphins can live an average lifespan of 30 years and can grow to a lenth of 8.2ft and a weight of 330lbs. Instead of a dorsel fin river dolphins have a little hump along their back. There have been reports that Amazon River dolphins can stun prey with bursts of soundwaves from the organ in their bulging forehead.They are most often found in brown, slow-moving waters, but during the flood season they enter flooded grasslands and forests. The river dolphin gets its unique coloration from the clarity of the water that they live in, the darker the water the pinker the dolphin. The sun's rays cause the dolphin's to lose their pink pigmentation but when they are excited their color flushes to an extremely bright pink. Its keen sense of hearing allows it to navigate the murky waters where it lives. Unique among dolphins, it has two kinds of teeth in its jaw, conical ones in the front of the mouth and molars in the back. The Amazon River dolphin is one of the few species of dolphins that can turn their necks from one side to another. They also have the ability to paddle forward with one flipper and backward with the other at the same time, this enables them to maneuver very easily during a flood. After the flood is over they will swim onto the flooded land and their flexability helps them to navigate around trees.
amazonriverdolph_long.jpg

Habitat

The Amazon River dolphin can be found in the Amazon River system as well as the Orinoco River system. These river systems flow throughout South America, specifically in the countries of Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana and Peru.

Distribution Map
species-I-geoffrensis-dist.jpg

Diet

Amazon River dolphins feast on over 50 types of fish as well as crustaceans found on the river bottom and the occasional turtle.
pinkriverdolphin.jpg

What's the Threat?

Human activities are exerting a lot of pressure on river dolphin populations. There have been many negative interactions with fishermen. As fishing technologies have improved, the incidental catching of Amazon River dolphins has greatly increased. They have also been harpooned, shot, and poisoned for stealing fish out of nets and damaging the fishing equipment. A greater human demand for fish decreases the abundance of potential prey for river dolphins as well. Additionally, the building of hydroelectric dams in South American rivers, pollution, the loss of habitat and decrease in food sources, all threaten this unique species of dolphin.
motherwithbabydolphin.jpg

What's being done?

The I.S.P.T.R. (International Society for the Preservation of the Tropical Rainforest) has been trying to get more and more volunteers to help them organize and fund their beneficial conservational programs to save the Amazon River dolphins.

How Many of Them are Left?

There are less than 100 amazon river dolphins left on earth.

Story of a Savior

How far can one person go to protect the river dolphins? This was the challenge that faced Roxanne Kremer when she learned that the pink dolphins of the Amazon River basin were being brutally slaughtered because of human greed and superstitious beliefs. As Roxanne became familiar with these extraordinary animals, she switched from a behaviorist and naturalist to that of a champion and crusader. "If I didn't do something to protect these animals," she said, "there would be nothing left to study!" Having spent most of her adult life trying to protect the dignity of animals, Roxanne began to speak to anyone who would listen to her about the destruction of the world's largest rainforest. At first, most people ignored her pleas as someone else's problem, something that was happening on another continent. However, when she began to mention pink dolphins in connection with the Amazon River's ecosystem, she attracted larger, more attentive audiences. 1986 proved to be a pivotal year for Roxanne. She established the Preservation of the Amazonian River Dolphin (PARD) as the first project of ISTPR. Each year brought about new achievements as Roxanne worked at various governmental and local levels in Peru and Brazil, building trust and confidence by keeping promises. By demonstrating to the local people that their resources were more economically important alive than dead, pride was given back to the people at the village level (where it really makes a difference) and the animals and their habitats were protected. Throughout her life, Roxanne Kremer has been living proof that one person can make a difference. One of the most important challenges now facing humanity is the development of environmentally responsible programs for our common ecological heritage. Toward this cud, she is truly a pioneer who deserves all the praise and laurels she has gathered. Roxanne Kremer is a person of unlimited strength and courage, and incredible person born with a cause.

AmazonTwist'sBibliography

Amazontwist'sResearch Process