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Jakarta Post

Mahakam dolphins at brink of extinction

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Mon, February 5 2018   /  01:20 am

Lucky day: Rare freshwater dolphins are sighted in a quiet corner of the Mahakam River. Busy water traffic and toxic waste from mining and logging activities have been attributed to the animal’s dwindling population.(Courtesy of RASI)The Mahakam, one of Indonesia’s mightiest rivers, is home to endangered freshwater dolphins in Kalimantan. Conservation group Rare Aquatic Species of Indonesia (RASI) estimates their number at 80. Pollution from the mining industry and logging has been largely blamed for their endangerment. The Jakarta Post correspondent in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Nurni Sulaiman, recently joined researchers and activists on a three-week trip along the Mahakam River to monitor the animals’ degrading habitat and conservation efforts.

Sailing upstream from the provincial capital of Samarinda to Kutai Kartanegara, some 75 kilometers to the northwest, we passed ...