Day 76 of #the100dayproject and my #realandendangered project. Today, I want to look at the Irrawaddy dolphin, whose range is patchy through the Bay of Bengal, Southeast Asia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Some interesting facts: 1. They have a large forehead, rounded head and lack a beak/snout. 2. They are an euryhaline species of oceanic dolphin (meaning they transition between saltwater and freshwater). 3. They are similar in body form to the beluga whale (but actually closely related to orcas). 4. They have been known to spyhop (vertically poke ones head out of the water to look around). 5. They communicate with clicks, creaks and buzzes at a dominant frequency of about 60 kilohertz (thought to be used for echolocation). The International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists them as "endangered." Their major threat is gill nets (fishing nets). As we have seen with other species (such as the almost extinct Vaquita), they get caught in nets meant for other fish (only in small pats of India are they directly hunted). In addition, they are impacted by increasing pollution, dams, severe erosion, use of explosives in fishing, and the fact that their populations are fragmented. The Action Plan for the Conservation of Freshwater Populations of Irrawaddy Dolphins include, but not limited to, establishing conservation areas with gill net bans/restrictions, providing training for safe release of entangled species, a program to compensate fisherman who receive damages from safe release of dolphins, and encouraging alternatives to gill nets. They also are protected by measures through a number countries in their range (for example Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia). They are included in Appendix I of CITES and Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). They also are part of wildlife sanctuaries in Bangladesh (co-occurring with Ganges River Dolphins).