27 January 2014
New River Dolphin Species Discovered In Brazil
A rare new dolphin species has been found by scientists in Brazil.
The Araguian Boto is found in the Araguian River in southeast Brazil and the population is very small, numbering around 1,000-1,500 dolphins.
Although they look very similar to other South American river dolphin species, scientists examining their genetics in more detail found that they were actually an entirely separate group.
It is thought that the Araguian Boto and the Amazon river dolphin are distantly related, and that they gradually evolved into separate species when the rivers and waterways that they live in became separated by the Earth's tectonic plate movement.
This new discovery has highlighted the threats that many river dolphin species face, and showed us how much they require protection from some of the same dangers that have sadly led to the extinction of other species around the world.
We hope that this new discovery will help in the fight to stop destruction of the dolphins’ habitats, and that WDC can work with its South American partners to protect these rare creatures.