Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa ordered the Department of Marines and Coastal Resources to solve inbreeding among Irrawaddy dolphins as there are only 14 of them left in the Songkhla Lake.
Mr Varawut said Irrawaddy dolphins in the Songkhla Lake were the only kind of freshwater dolphins in Thailand and the lake was one among five habitats of the dolphins worldwide. There were 150 Irrawaddy dolphins in India, 90 in Indonesia, 80 in Myanmar and 90 in Cambodia. Irrawaddy dolphins in Thailand risked extinction because there were only 14 of them left, the minister said.
He said that there had to be plans to protect and increase Irrawaddy dolphins in the Songkhla Lake. Immediate solutions should include efforts to protect the dolphins from fishing tools and increase their food sources. Long-term solutions could be their mating with Irrawaddy dolphins from other countries.
Their small population and inability to migrate and mate with such dolphins in other areas caused inbreeding and their offspring were weak, Mr Varawut said. (TNA)