Irrawaddy Dolphin Found Dead in Songkhla


A critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin has been found dead in Thailand’s Songkhla Lake, worsening the ongoing struggle to protect this vulnerable species.

According to the Thai Whales group, a local resident discovered the dolphin and alerted the Marine and Coastal Resources Department, which is now conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Irrawaddy dolphins are distinctive for their rounded faces and absence of a beak. Weighing up to 159 kilograms, they face threats from habitat loss, entanglement in fishing gear, and illegal hunting, contributing to their endangered status. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed them as endangered, highlighting the need for urgent action to protect their dwindling numbers.

In 2022, marine biologist Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat brought attention to the perilous state of the Irrawaddy dolphin population in Songkhla Lake, where only 14 individuals were reported to remain. He cited extensive fishing activities as a significant threat to their survival.

In response to his advocacy, the National Marine Committee declared Irrawaddy dolphins a protected species in Thailand in May 2022, a move that initiated government-backed conservation and population monitoring efforts in Songkhla Lake and other areas such as Khanom Bay in Surat Thani and the Andaman Sea in Trang and Krabi.

Despite these conservation efforts, the population of Irrawaddy dolphins in Songkhla Lake has declined sharply from 27 in 2015 to approximately 14 by 2022, signaling a critical need for continued and enhanced protective measures to prevent further losses of this unique species.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.