Meet The Rare And Endangered Blind Indus River Dolphins Who Are Making A Comeback (8 Pics)

The dolphins of the Indus River are not as well-known as their more renowned cousins, yet unfortunately, they are still in grave danger of extinction.

Only the freshwater Indus River in South Asia is home to these unique marine animals, which weigh up to 200 pounds and grow up to 8.5 feet in length.

They have tiny, underdeveloped eyes with no crystalline lens, leaving them blind to their environment.

They have evolved to rely completely on sound waves to navigate the murky waters of the Indus River.

These beautiful animals are one of the world’s most endangered types of mammals, with only around 1,500 surviving on the globe.

The species’ habitat has been effectively damaged by the widespread building of diversion dams known as barrages. 

After an irrigation system was created, their population declined dramatically, and they are still targeted for bait, meat, and medicine by local fishermen.

The barrages were created to manage floods and supply irrigation in the mid-twentieth century, and several have since been converted as power plants.

They’ve now not only halted the dolphins’ migration, but their diversions may also result in dangerously low water levels.

Lack of knowledge is the most significant obstacle to protecting creatures like this rare dolphin. They haven’t been examined much, and there isn’t much written about them.

Researchers are paying extra attention to the Indus River dolphin because they don’t want the Indus River dolphin to suffer the same fate as the Yangtze River dolphin. 

The Yangtze River dolphin hasn’t been seen in decades and is thought to be extinct, yet its decline and extinction occurred so quickly that environmentalists were unable to intervene.

India’s first dolphin research facility was erected a few years back, and a comprehensive government conservation program has educated local populations, rescued stranded dolphins, and is slowly boosting their numbers.

There are currently 1,987 Indus dolphins in Pakistan, according to the most recent WWF study, up from 132 animals in 1972. Another tiny colony of at least seven animals resides in India’s Beas River, an Indus tributary.

RELATED: Rare Irrawaddy Dolphins Found In Indonesian Waters (10 Pics)

Written by Joe Kahlo

After years of writing in the financial industry, Joe was finally able to focus his writing on what he loves, Animals!