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Company to Probe for Minerals Close to Mekong River Dolphin Habitat
An Australian mining company aims to begin searching for minerals, as well as oil and gas, next to part of the Mekong River in Cambodia where the endangered Irrawaddy river dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) lives.

Only about 80 Irrawaddy river dolphins survive in the 4,350-kilometer (2,700-mile) Mekong River, according to WWF-Cambodia, but that’s still the largest subpopulation of the species. Four other discrete groups live in river systems throughout South and Southeast Asia.

Recent surveys by WWF have shown that Irrawaddy dolphin numbers in the Mekong have increased since 2010, and deaths are down in the past several years. However, gillnets for fishing, dams and boat traffic all pose threats, as does water pollution, which could increase with mining activity.



 
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