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Founded in 2005, the Irrawaddy Dolphin Protected Area (ADPA) covers 74 kilometres of the Irrawaddy River from Mingun near Mandalay to Kyauk Myaung and covers a third of the highly vulnerable Irrawaddy Dolphin populations. Upper Irrawaddy River also has a significant avifauna, which comprises 126 types, 2 of which are in danger of extinction and 4 almost in danger.
They are the Green Peacock, the Black-bellied Tern, the Black-headed Ibis, the Eastern Darter, the Common Tern, the Common Pochard and the Snake Bulbul. The other remarkable types on the Upper Irrawaddy are the storks and the cormorants. Ayeyarwady River's populations of dolphins are low, but fairly steady in recent years, with census numbers remaining in the flow between 2010 and 2017, ranging from 60 to 70 people.
The biggest menace is electrofishing, which can cause dolphin blasts, while fishers try to shoot or even shoot off large numbers of sharks using automotive battery and long rods. Electrofishing also leads to the suppression of habitats and the exhaustion of fishery resources. A further frequent menace is the involvement in gill nets, which are laid over large parts of the stream to capture all overfishing.
Deposits in deeper basins from goldmining and other excavation work destroy the dolphins' habitats, while quicksilver pollution from goldmining poses an additional hazard from recent developments upriver. With the increase in marine transport on the Irrawaddy River, the growth rate of nuisance, habitats shifting and ship collision from delphin observations is also increasing.
It is being carried out by the Department of Fisheries with the assistance of the Wildlife Society, with the primary aim of reducing the threat to predators through surveillance, prosecution, and livelihood. Each year a whale census is carried out to observe the entire populace. It also supports co-operative fisheries in the development of community-based ecotourism to create immediate impulses for the protection of sharks and to foster the nymbiotic relationships between co-operative fishers and mammals.