Are dolphins endangered?
There are many species of dolphin which are currently endangered, but there are also lots of species which are still thriving in the world. Bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and killer whales are still found in abundance all over the world and scientists are not at all concerned about their futures as a species.
There are many things which are threatening the survival of certain species of marine dolphin. Overfishing is a huge problem in many parts of the world. This is where fish are caught at a faster rate than they can reproduce. This leads to depleted fish stocks and means that dolphins are left without enough to eat. In some parts of the world, the dolphins compete directly with the fishermen to catch a certain school of fish and are therefore targeted and hunted by the fishermen as they are endangering their livelihood.
Fishing methods also pose a danger to dolphins. Large trawling nets full of fish are very attractive to dolphins as they can see all of their prey all in one place. As the dolphins try to eat the fish from the nets they often get caught themselves and have no way of escape.
In other parts of the world, contamination and pollution are posing a huge threat to dolphin populations. If the water in which the dolphins live gets polluted with harmful chemicals, this could damage the dolphins’ health and even kill them. If the dolphins are hardy enough to be able to survive living in a polluted environment, chances are that their prey will not be and that they will soon run out of things to eat.
River dolphins live in much more concentrated areas of the world and are therefore much more at risk when their habitat is threatened. They are highly evolved to live in their particular environment and therefore do not have the adaptations necessary to survive in different environments. If their home is destroyed or contaminated, they have no hope of survival. This is why there is currently much work being done in order to educate local communities about the needs of the river dolphin and to hopefully save them from extinction. In 2006, the Yangtze River dolphin was declared functionally extinct and scientists are now working hard to make sure that this is not the fate which awaits all river dolphins.Dolphin Facts | Dolphin Information | Dolphin Species | Dolphins FAQ