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Save The Mekong River Dolphin From Extinction!

13,432 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

44.77% Complete

Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Cambodia Must Stop The Mekong River Dams That Are Killing Endangered Dolphins!

There are only 80 Irrawaddy dolphins left in the Mekong River, running through Cambodian and Laos. They are going extinct and now new river dams are being built and planned that would wipe out their last remaining habitat. Sign this petition demanding construction on the Mekong River dams be stopped. These critically endangered dolphins must have a chance to survive!

Irrawaddy dolphins are extremely unique in that they can live in both fresh and salt water. The freshwater populations are critically endangered, with only around 80 still existing in Cambodia's Mekong River. In Laos, the Mekong dolphins face complete extinction with only three remaining individuals [1].

"At this stage, we fear that in a year or two, there may be no more dolphins in Laos," said Teak Seng, Conservation Director for the Greater Mekong Region [2].

Nevertheless, the future looks even more bleak for the Mekong River dolphins with three hydropower dams being built or planned. The Don Sahong Dam began construction in 2014 and has already led to the deaths of several endangered dolphins. Two more are being planned currently – the Sambor and Stung Treng hydropower dams [3].

If allowed to be built, these dams would change or destroy the last remaining habitats for the 80 Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River [4].

The Don Sahong Dam construction must be stopped and the Sambor and Stung Treng dams must never be built. These rare, endangered dolphins – intelligent, beautiful and innocent – must be protected if they are to survive at all.

We cannot allow the majestic mammals to be senselessly eradicated. They need to be treasured, cherished, and above all protected before they become completely extinct!

Sign the petition and tell Cambodia and the Mekong River Commission that the Mekong River dams must not be built and that the Irrawaddy dolphins living there must be protected before it is too late!


1. Keartes, S. (2016, October 27). Rare Irrawaddy river dolphin now 'functionally extinct' in Laos. Retrieved October 12, 2017, from

2. Keartes, S. (2016, October 27). Rare Irrawaddy river dolphin now 'functionally extinct' in Laos. Retrieved October 12, 2017, from

3. Progress protecting Mekong River dolphins undermined by proposed dams. (2017, February 08). Retrieved October 12, 2017, from

4. World Wildlife Fund. (n.d.). Stop the Don Sahong Dam. Retrieved October 12, 2017, from

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The Petition:

Cambodian Ministries of Environment, Industry, Mines and Energy, Public Works and Transport and the Mekong River Commission:

The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins are critically endangered and facing total extinction, with some populations on the brink of disappearing forever within a matter of years. Gillnet fishing continues to harm these precious marine mammals every year, but the greatest threat they face right now is the hydropower dams planned for construction. Construction of those dams must cease immediately and they must never be built.

The freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River are close to extinction, with some populations down to just three remaining dolphins. In the entire Mekong River, it is estimated that only 80 of the dolphins still exist. Those numbers are tragic, and the threat of more being killed in the coming years is unthinkable – especially when their deaths can be prevented.

Gillnet fishing has been banned in Cambodia, but the fishing technique is still used along the river by fisheries in neighboring Laos. By working with those fisheries to join Cambodia in ending the use of gillnets, more river dolphins can be saved from injury and death.

However, the biggest threat the endangered river dolphins face right now is the Don Sahong Dam, as well as the proposed Sambor and Stung Treng hydropower dams. If completed and built, these dams would alter the Mekong River and its tributaries, changing and destroying the dolphins' last remaining habitats. If these precious mammals' habitats are destroyed by the inevitable river changes from the hydropower dams, Cambodia could very well see its last river dolphins disappear within years.

I ask you to immediately halt all construction of the Don Sahong Dam and ban the Sambor and Stung Treng dams before they begin. By doing so, the Mekong River dolphins may have a chance to repopulate. Any future hope for these animals relies on the protection of the river itself.

The Mekong River, along with Myanmar's Ayeyarwdy River and Indonesia's Mahakam River, are the only three places in the world where the freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins still exist. That must not be cut down to only two.

If the Don Sahong, Sambor and Stung Treng dams are allowed to be built on the Mekong River, the few remaining dolphins there will die. Once that happens, they will be gone forever. Cambodia must not lose such a precious and rare native species at any cost.

We must protect the dolphins, and your help is desperately needed to save them from extinction. The innocent, endangered, intelligent mammals are too precious to be lost. With so few left, all effort must be taken on their behalf. You have the power to help protect these freshwater dolphins before it is too late.

I ask you to take immediate action to save the Mekong River dolphins from extinction. Stop construction of the hydropower dams on the river and ban any such construction in the future. These amazing marine mammals must be allowed to live and, with help, begin to repopulate. Please protect the river habitats, protect the dolphins, and save them from complete extinction. Their fate is in your hands.


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