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Small Cetaceans Task Team workshop: South Asian River Dolphins


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is hosting a workshop focused on the Ganges and Indus river dolphins, known collectively as South Asian river dolphins. 

These are categorised as endangered by the IUCN Red List, and face a range of threats including bycatch, pollution, and habitat loss as dams and barrages alter river courses. Effective, co-ordinated responses to these threats can be difficult to implement across the range states of India, Pakistan and Nepal.

The IWC’s Small Cetacean Task Team initiative was established by the IWC to work on high priority issues.  Task Teams aim to provide advice that enables timely action to assist greatly endangered species, and the Task Team for South Asian river dolphins was formed in 2017.

Collaboration amongst experts is an essential component of any effective conservation strategy and this workshop will bring together scientists from the South Asian river dolphin range states.  Specific aims include co-ordinating proposals for tackling conservation issues that might be similar across several countries, and agreeing effective, actionable plans for tackling trans-boundary issues, particularly related to water sharing and flow management.

The workshop takes place from 18 – 21 July and will report to the Scientific Committee of the IWC at its meeting next spring.

To read more about small cetaceans click here.