Irrawaddy Dolphin Negative Impacts

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Irrawaddy Dolphin Preservation When we think of endangered species we generally think about the most threatened animals such as polar bears or pandas but those are not the only endangered species. There are also threatened animals that nobody thinks about such as dolphins, more specifically The Irrawaddy Dolphin. The Irrawaddy Dolphin is not a well-known species of dolphin because it is not as common as the Bottlenose Dolphin. An organization called World Wildlife Fund has an article titled “Irrawaddy Dolphin” on its website that provides information about the Irrawaddy Dolphin. The article claims that The Irrawaddy Dolphin (also known as The Mekong River Dolphin) is a 6-9 feet long, bluish to grayish colored dolphin that is distinguished …show more content…
Most people believe that pollution only affects the air but that is not true. It has a significant negative impact on marine ecosystems as well. Jennifer Weeks, a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree, points out that pollution, such as toxic chemicals, reduces water quality and kills marine life by explaining that it causes numerous health issues including, but not limited to, lung diseases and severe weight loss (867; 876). Only two examples of dolphin health issues caused by pollution were mentioned in this article but there are countless more such as the health issue caused by toxins. The toxins in water pollution result in the impairment of dolphins’ immune systems, which make it harder to fight off infections. For instance, an article titled “Mekong Dolphins” on BBC News reports that more fifty Irrawaddy Dolphins in The Mekong River died because the dolphin’s immune systems failed due to toxic levels of pollution such as pesticides and mercury. Additionally, there are health issues caused by the depletion of oxygen in the water which is brought to light in Colin Woodard’s article, Oceans in Crisis. Woodard points that pollution such as fertilizers and sewage cause “dead zones” where algae growth increases which can strip the water of oxygen (240). The resulting dead zone caused by water pollution can be detrimental to dolphin’s health because oxygen levels decrease which can cause suffocation and, eventually, death. The Marine Mammal Act and Endangered Species Act help protect this species but it does little to address the catastrophic consequences of water pollution, such as the decline in population. Therefore, more precautionary measures, such as passing A Clean Water Act in Asia, should be taken in order to reduce toxic chemicals and pollutants in the water so that we can provide a

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