Discovering the Enigmatic Irrawaddy Dolphin: A Rare Gem in Indonesian Waters!

In 2012, researchers from WWF-Indonesia and the Regional Office for Marine, Coastal, and Resource Management Pontianak (BPSPL) made a remarkable discovery in the waters of West Kalimantan, Indonesia’s Borneo islandโ€”the elusive Irrawaddy dolphin.

With their distinct appearance and remarkable intelligence, these dolphins have quickly captured the attention of marine enthusiasts worldwide.

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West Kalimantan, renowned for its abundant wildlife and lush rainforests, was an unexpected home for the Irrawaddy dolphins.


Also known by their scientific name, orcaella brevirostris, these rare creatures remain a relatively recent find. The researchers are excited about their preliminary findings, hoping they will shed light on the species’ population and distribution.

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Albertus Tjiu, a Conservation Biologist at WWF-Indonesia and a pioneer in Irrawaddy dolphin research emphasizes the significance of the study’s findings.

They offer a glimpse into the biodiversity of Kalimantan’s waters and highlight the importance of safeguarding dolphin habitats, starting from the origins of rivers in Central Borneo.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies Irrawaddy dolphins as vulnerable. Their global population is estimated to be around 6,000, with a majority residing in the coastal waters of Bangladesh.

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The remaining individuals are scattered across Southeast Asia, including countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and even Australia’s northeastern coast, where they face the threat of critically endangered status.

Irrawaddy dolphins showcase fascinating behaviors, including playfully spitting water at each other’s faces and displaying their unique neck fat.

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As these captivating creatures continue to charm and amaze, efforts to protect their habitats and promote population growth become crucial.

Let us be captivated by the beauty of these majestic marine mammals and unite to ensure their well-being and survival in the vast ocean they call home.

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