How this gift helps the planet
River dolphins and porpoises swim in some of the world's mightiest rivers, including the Ganges, Indus, Yangtze, Mekong, and Amazon. But these river basins are also home to over 15 per cent of our planet's people and include some of the most densely populated, and poorest, areas on Earth.
Dam-building, entanglement in fishing nets, boat traffic, and pollution have led to drastic declines in dolphin populations over the last several decades. River dolphins are now amongst the most endangered of all cetaceans. We have already lost one species to extinction, the Yangtze baiji, and others are in desperate need of protection.
Saving river dolphins requires governments to make smart choices about the use of their natural resources and to carefully plan development projects. Your gift will allow WWF scientists to determine where these mysterious animals live and to advise officials as they build new infrastructure projects like dams and ports. Additionally, we can use this information to pressure industrial manufacturing plants to dispose of their toxic waste responsibly.
People also depend on the waters where river dolphins live. They need healthy rivers for fishing and to irrigate their crops. We teach farmers how to increase crop yields without the use of harsh fertilizers that can pollute their rivers. With your help we can also continue to work with fishermen on developing fishing methods that are less likely to accidentally entrap dolphins.