Conservation plan prepared for Persian Gulf humpback dolphins

August 19, 2020 - 21:0

TEHRAN – An action plan for the protection of Persian Gulf humpback dolphins has been prepared and will be implemented with the participation of the three coastal provinces, head of the department of environment of Bushehr province, said on Wednesday.

The project is the result of years of efforts and monitoring of dolphins in the Persian Gulf ecosystem, which will be implemented by the three coastal provinces of Bushehr, Khuzestan, and Hormozgan, Farhad Gholinejad said, IRNA reported.

Under the program, in addition to constant monitoring, efforts are being made to preserve the species and its habitat, he said, adding, the monitoring and protection of habitats of species whose habitats have been severely and extensively destroyed is our priority.

He went on to note that the destruction of natural habitats is indirectly related to environmental pollution such as industrial and municipal wastes and effluents, therefore the development of a comprehensive action plan plays a vital role.

Oil spills and other pollutants dumped into the Persian Gulf, such as municipal and industrial wastewater as well as tourist traffic, are the main causes of habitat destruction of this valuable species, he lamented.

Given all these habitats threatening conditions, it seems that special attention should be paid to the issue of natural habitat protection, he emphasized.

Gholinejad also mentioned the very important and vital role of local communities, non-governmental organizations and the media in protecting the Persian Gulf humpback dolphins, and called on all concerned in this field to take an active part in the action plan.

Humpback dolphins are characterized by the conspicuous humps and elongated dorsal fins found on the backs of adults of the species. They are found close to shores along the coast of West Africa (called the Atlantic species) and right along the coast of the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Australia (known as the Indo-Pacific species). Adults can reach from 1.8 to 2.6 meters and weigh in the range of 100 to 139 kilograms.

A total of 47 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins have been spotted in the Dayer Nakhiloo National Marine Park in Bushehr province since a field monitoring project was launched in February 2014.

The dolphin is listed as ‘nearly threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but some argue that it meets the IUCN’s requirements for a ‘vulnerable’ status.

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