Updated Feb 2013
The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) population in the Mekong River of Cambodia and Laos is redlisted as Critically Endangered. A series of estimates of total population size in the first decade of the 21st century were all below 150 and there is reason to believe that numbers have been declining steadily. Much of the cause is mortality in fishing gear but the especially high calf mortality has defied explanation.
In 2009, WWF-Cambodia requested help from the CSG in examining the evidence and helping identify research and management priorities. In that October, a small team of scientists including CSG members Bob Brownell, Randall Reeves, Brian Smith, Sam Turvey and Wang Ding, as well as Frances Gulland on behalf of the IUCN/SSC Veterinary Specialist Group, met with government officials and NGO representatives in Phnom Penh. The report produced by the expert group can be found here.