facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Bolivia to protect river dolphins

Sept. 18, 2012 at 7:53 PM   |   Comments

SUCRE, Bolivia, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Bolivia says Amazon pink dolphins, the country's only freshwater mammal species, will be protected under a new law.

The legislation, signed by Bolivian President Evo Morales, bans fishing for pink dolphins, known in the country as bufeo, and accords the species the status of a national treasure, the BBC reported Tuesday.

In a ceremony held on the shores of the Ibare River, Morales said the armed forces would be utilized to protect the mammals' freshwater habitat, which is under threat from erosion, pollution and logging along the Amazon River.

The single greatest threat to the dolphins is contamination of rivers in the region by mercury, used in illegal gold mining operations, conservationists said.

Male Bolivian freshwater pink dolphins can weigh up to 440 pounds, and the species -- Inia bolivienses -- is similar to dolphins living in neighboring Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela.

Topics: Evo Morales
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Say goodbye to Chinese sturgeon Say goodbye to Chinese sturgeon
2
Video shows scientists dissecting colossal squid Video shows scientists dissecting colossal squid
3
Attic window offers glimpse of life inside a wasp nest Attic window offers glimpse of life inside a wasp nest
4
First 3D-printed car unveiled in Chicago First 3D-printed car unveiled in Chicago
5
Boeing may build NASA's space taxi Boeing may build NASA's space taxi
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback