Dam threatens survival of Mekong dolphins
February 2014: The Laos government’s decision to forge ahead with the Don Sahong hydropower project in southern Laos, could be dire for the population of Mekong dolphins living in the Mekong River, warns a WWF report.
The dam is to be located just one kilometre upstream of the core habitat for Mekong dolphins of which it is thought just 85 remain, restricted to a 190km stretch of the river between southern Laos and north-east Cambodia.
According to the WWF paper, the dam builders intend to excavate millions of tonnes of rock using explosives, creating strong sound waves that could potentially kill dolphins which have highly sensitive hearing structures. Increased boat traffic, changes in water quality, and habitat degradation represent other major direct risks to the dolphins, along with the cumulative indirect effects of disturbance and stress.
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