A newborn Mekong dolphin calf was spotted in the Kampi deep pool in Kratie province’s Chetr Borei district on Sunday, making it the third to be recorded so far this year, according to the provincial fisheries administration.
Mok Ponlork, deputy chief of the administration, yesterday said the youngling was spotted with four adult dolphins in the pool by members of a local conservation community.
Mr Ponlork said administration officials and the World Wildlife Fund earlier this month recorded two other calves.
“Three dolphins were spotted in the first two months of this year,” he said, adding there are up to 60 adult dolphins in the Mekong river in Kratie.
Captain Pav Kimhort, chief of staff at district police, said law enforcement agents collaborate with the administration and WWF to conduct joint patrols around dolphin habitats to curb illegal fishing.
“There are people in the area that still commit illegal fishing,” Cap Kimhort said. “The practice threatens these critically endangered dolphins. We have to take preventive measures.”
WWF official Horm Chandet in Kratie could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The conservation group said 13 newborn dolphin calves were recorded in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces last year, while eight perished.
It said the Mekong river dolphin, or Irrawaddy dolphin, was listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.
WWF said there are currently 92 adult Mekong river dolphins recorded and the species is threatened by illegal fishing and the construction of hydropower dams throughout the river.