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Mammalia > Artiodactyla > Delphinidae > Orcaella

Orcaella brevirostris Owen in Gray, 1866 – Irrawady Dolphin

Taxonomic Notes:

This species is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (

Indian and global distribution:
records (based on images):
Sexual, seasonal & individual variation:
Status, Habitat and Habits:

Although often referred as Irrawady River Dolphin, it inhabits freshwater, estuarine and marine habitat equally. It is native to coasts of southeast Asia and can be seen at the eastern coast of India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore. It feedson fish, fish eggs, crustaceans, squids, octopuses and molluscs. It can be found in small groups that may range between 2 and 20.  

Conservation Status:

This species is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (

According to IUCN Red List assessment, population this species is decreasing all over its range. Although there is no estimate of global population, it is not more than 6000 mature individuals globally. Population may vary between 50 and 6000 as per the location. Maximum population can be found the estuarine region of Sunderbans of Bangladesh, whereas in India there are about 50 to 100 individuals present in Chilika lake. The population in Chilika lake, is also classified as Critically Endangered. Major threat to survival comes from agriculture, mining, pollution, large scale shipping, and occasional entanglement in fishing nets.

Mammalia > Artiodactyla > Delphinidae > Orcaella

Cite this page along with its URL as:
Bayani, A. 2023. Orcaella brevirostris Owen in Gray, 1866 – Irrawady Dolphin. A. Bayani, R. Chakravarty, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (editors). Mammals of India, v. 1.13. editors.
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