Researchers Undertake Expedition Into Amazonian Reserve To Study Pink Dolphins.

Expedition into Amazonian Reserve to Study Amazon Pink Dolphins a Success.
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Expedition into Amazonian Reserve to Study Amazon Pink Dolphin a Success. Image Unsplash.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Expedition into Amazonian Reserve to Study Amazon Pink Dolphins a Success

On an expedition to study Amazon pink dolphins has been organized by Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute and WWF Brazil, researchers gathered information to understand how to protect and conserve the Amazon River Dolphin from pressing threats.

Anthropogenic Damage is Present Worldwide

Throughout the world, many animals have become threatened with extinction due to human negligence or interference in the lives of said animals. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Brazil, where a wide variety of animal populations have been decimated due to pollution, deforestation, and overfishing. 

This has prompted the government and local population to adopt measures to curb humans’ negative impact on our neighbors. However, the only way one can adopt measures that make sense and make a difference is by knowing what needs to be done to do so. 

Creating protected areas is a first step, but once the protected areas are enacted, it is up to researchers to collect data that can be used to influence a coherent conservation strategy. 

This is why this year, an expedition into the Amaña Sustainable Development Reserve was organized by scientists from the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute and WWF Brazil to collect data on the pink Amazon River Dolphin, as its survival is under threat. 

The Plight of the Amazon Pink Dolphin

The Amazon River Dolphin, also known in Portuguese as boto-cor-de-rosa (pink dolphin), has inhabited the province of Amazonas for thousands of years. It is the largest species of river dolphin, and can grow up to 2.5 meters long and weigh up to 185 kilograms.

The Amazon pink dolphin is pink in color, but its newborns are gray. As they grow, their skin becomes darker, and eventually turns pink. The exact reason for their pink color is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of factors, including their diet, their environment, and their blood circulation.

Amazon pink dolphins are social animals, and they often travel in groups of up to 12 individuals. They are playful and curious, and they have been known to interact with humans. They are an important part of the Amazon ecosystem, and they play a role in controlling populations of fish and other animals.

The animals are listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. They are threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and overfishing. There are a number of conservation efforts underway to protect the Amazon pink dolphin, and it is hoped that these efforts will be successful in ensuring the survival of this amazing species.

However, more data needs to be collected to specifically understand what threats they face and where the threats come from. 

The researchers and local fishermen used nets to catch the Amazon pink dolphins and transport them to a research facility shoreside. They were handled with care and were brief, lasting only 20 minutes per dolphin. They were well hydrated to ensure their skin wouldn’t dry out and were fitted with radio transmitters to determine their favorite feeding spots and where, when, and why they surfaced. 

The data has now been collected and is going through a process of evaluation and examination which could take up to 6 months. 

Expedition coordinator Miriam Marmontel, in an interview with Mongabay, said, “We are trying to get ahead of the game by learning about their health so that, in the case of a tragedy, we will be ready to intervene.”

See also: Bronx River Dolphins are Back!

To Take Action, we Need to Understand

The importance of having solid data to rely on is of utmost importance in creating a strategy of protection and conservation. Without it, we are simply shooting into the dark, perhaps with the best intentions but with unintended consequences. 

In the case of the Amazon pink dolphins, with a solid understanding of why these magnificent creatures are suffering and dying soon, they can take action to preserve the lives of dolphins. 

In the future, hopefully, we can see the pink dolphins thrive more than they had before, as the cultural importance of the Amazon River Dolphin is just as important as it is in the ecosystem. 

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