Cambodia’s Endangered River Dolphins at Highest Population in 20 Years

For decades, Cambodia’s Mekong River population of Irrawaddy dolphins has verged on extinction. Once believed to have numbered in the thousands, the population began to plummet in the 1970s. During the violent reign of the Khmer Rouge and the years of war that followed, the dolphins were hunted for food. Indiscriminate net fishing, in which the dolphins sometimes end up as bycatch, took a further toll, and by the turn of the millennium, there were maybe fewer than 100 left.

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Stefan Lovgren