Again, the pink dolphin is part of the red list of endangered animals. Indiscriminate fishing and accidental capture with nets are one of the main causes.
A decade ago, the International Union for Conservation of Nature included this Amazon mammal in its list of species under the category "vulnerable." Unfortunately, upon recategorization, it fell into the 'endangered' category.
The recategorization of the pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) as an endangered species, places this mammal among the most threatened river dolphins in the world, its recategorization does not ensure its conservation.
A study published in the journal PLoS ONE, in May 2018, already warned that the population of the pink dolphin was reducing by half every 10 years.
The role of the pink dolphin
The pink dolphin is an emblematic animal of the Amazon River due to its particular characteristics, but above all, it is an essential species for natural regulation in Colombia.
It is highly valued by the locals for helping to control the population of piranhas and other fish that could become a threat due to overpopulation.
“If dolphins did not fulfill this regulatory function, there would be many problems for our ecosystem, that is why they are important for Colombia, but above all for us who live in the Amazon ”, commented Micsin Guerrero, a member of the Natütama Foundation, located in the municipality of Puerto Nariño.
Through the Global South American River Dolphins initiative, we are working with the satellite tagging of dolphins in order to better understand the threats of this species and the strategic sites where they are located and thus be able to conserve it.
WWF and Fundación Omacha, in collaboration with more than 50 environmental, government and university organizations, have been promoting this campaign for more than a year. This same organization put on the table the need to discuss a possible evaluation of the categorization of the genus Inia, but discriminated against the three species of dolphins that the researchers in South America recognize: Inia geoffrensis, Inia boliviensis and Inia araguaiensis.
“It does not help us that in each country there is a different policy and review of the territory. We need to work with one voice, with correlated methodologies and processes. Otherwise, we will not be able to save the Amazonian definition, ”said Trujillo, one of the people who worked for nearly six years to get the IUCN to agree to include pink dolphins on the list again.
“Some experts advocated the classification of critically endangered, others agreed with it being listed as endangered, and some still believed that there was insufficient data. Finally, in mid-2018, in Slovenia, the dilemma was resolved through a panel of experts, where we all agreed to include and categorize the species in this way, "he commented.
How the red list was formed
To classify Amazonian dolphins on this list, research data from some laboratories were used, mainly from the Aquatic Mammal Laboratory of the National Institute for Amazon Research (Inpa / MCTIC).
Data from other institutes in Brazil and the rest of the world were also considered. The investigation then revealed that since 2000 the population has been drastically reduced.
The situation is serious because, in addition, the dolphin is in a protected reserve environment. Therefore, the concern of what it will be like in unprotected areas increases.
The IUCN Red List classifies species into nine groups, thus following rigorous and defined criteria. For starters, they include the rate of decline, size, and distribution of the population.
They also take into account the area of distribution, as well as the degree of fragmentation. The category "endangered" then indicates that the species is likely to become extinct in the future. This is the second most serious state of conservation for the species.
With information from: