Jul 4, 2019
Fresh water dolphins like the Amazon River Dolphin face a myriad of challenges including human encroachment and habitat loss, pollution, the damming of river systems, and poaching.
The Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation www.ARDCF.org supports local efforts to protect a storied species and its rainforest ecosystem. ARDCF founder and director, Suzanne Smith discusses what she describes as healthy, natural interactions between dolphins and people that protect both animals and people, sustain local culture, and transform visitors to ardent Amazon conservationists. These interactions represent a small scale effort to preserve the Amazon River dolphin through the use of platforms where free ranging wild dolphins get a few kilos of supplemental fish from platform operators while visitors learn about and can observe the animals for a few minutes. The platforms are remote, highly regulated, and provide an income for the families that operate them. If the animals aren't becoming habituated to humans or dependent on a free snack, could this be a one region's way to prevent river dolphin extinction? As we've heard on previous episodes, when it comes to conservation strategies that work, one size does not fit all. And, while uncontrolled (and illegal) public feeding of wild dolphins is a serious problem in the US that harms or kills wildlife, these platform interactions might just be a way forward to help preserve river dolphins in the remotest parts of Brazil.
Building upon the wisdom of Amazon traditions, practices and beliefs with findings from modern conservation biology, Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation works to preserve the river dolphin from the corrosive pressures that threaten the survival of the dolphins and their world.
Plus our first "Tell me something I don't know about animals" with former guest, Barbara Heidenreich.
That Sounds Wild: baby jaguar. www.wildlifeworld.com