Pink dolphins

About the pink dolphin


The pink river dolphin, known locally as the “bufeo”,is the largest species of river dolphins, with a maximum length of 2.5 meters long. Although it is called the pink dolphin, adults can be pink or gray and newborns are always gray. It is the only dolphin with a flexible head that can move side to side, which is an advantage when navigating through the trees in flooded forests. Pink river dolphins are often found in groups of 2-4, but can sometimes be solitary as well. The pink river dolphin is widely distributed among the river systems of the Orinoco and the Amazon. There are three subspecies; the one occurring in the Amazon River system of Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador is I.g. geoffrensis. 


Status and threats

The pink river dolphin is listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN RedList, due to a lack of scientific studies regarding its populations, and difficulty studying the species. It is threatened by incidental mortality in fishing gear (particularly nets), deliberate killing for fish bait, and environmental pollution from organochlorines and heavy metals.