Dolphins are definitely one of the cutest and friendliest animals in the ocean. But have you ever imagined that a pink dolphin existed? Let me tell you that the Amazon rainforest is home to this amazing species.
The pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) or “Boto” is an extraordinary species. It is considered one of the few freshwater dolphins in the world. This pinkish-gray, semi-blind dolphin lives only in the rivers of the Amazon and Orinoco basins in Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Guyana, Bolivia and Brazil.
The pink dolphin in Ecuador can be found especially in the Cuyabeno wildlife reserve. It is located in the province of Sucumbíos and in the Yasuni National Park.
Due to overfishing, pollution, river traffic and habitat loss. This unique pink amazon dolphin has been listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature.
PINK DOLPHIN CHARACTERISTICS
COMMON NAME: Amazon river dolphins
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Inia geoffrensis
SIZE: Up to 8 feet long
WEIGHT: Up to 450 pounds
MAIN FEATURES OF AMAZON PINK DOLPHIN
- The Pink dolphin reaches a length of up to 2.5 meters and a weight of 185 kilograms.
- This unique pinkish-gray dolphin is semi-blind.
- They live in the Amazon jungle rivers, this is the longest river in the world. Here they can feed on more than 50 different species. FIsh, crabs, mollusks and even freshwater turtles.
- They use a whistling communication system.
- Pink dolphin can turn their heads up to 90 degrees because their cervical vertebrae are not fused.
- They are not actually pink. In their natural state they are gray, but skin abrasion gives rise to the pink color
- Females are generally larger than males. Females reach sexual maturity when they have grown to 1.7 meters in length. Males reach sexual maturity at 2 meters in length.
- The gestation period is between nine and twelve months, and most calves are born between July and September. At birth, hatchlings weigh about 15 pounds and measure about 80 cm.
HOW IT BEHAVES?
Pink river dolphins use echolocation to navigate Amazonian rivers, which are darker, their visibility is very limited and they depend much more on vibrations.
Amazon pink dolphins are characterized by being unsociable. Therefore, it is common to see them alone or in very small groups, usually mother and son. Also, pink dolphins are considered “lazy”. They do not tend to swim fast and only come to the surface for air every 30 seconds or so.
A noticeable difference between the pacific ocean dolphins and the pink river dolphin is their strange elongated snout. This is due to an adaptation. Because having the snout that way is useful for digging up different foods buried in the river banks.
WHERE TO FIND THE PINK DOLPHIN IN ECUADOR?
The pink Amazon river dolphin in Ecuador is considered magical for some indigenous tribes. Since it is the guardian of the fascinating Amazon manatee, or sea cow. If you want to know where to find them, here are some places in the Ecuadorian Amazon where they live.
YASUNI NATIONAL PARK
The pink dolphin has a natural sanctuary in which to take refuge, the megadiverse Yasuni National Park. It provides protection and care for the pink dolphin, as it is a species coveted as bait and as a supposed aphrodisiac.
Located at the confluence of the Cocaya and Aguarico rivers, near Ecuador’s border with Peru. The idyllic refuge offers a rare opportunity to observe this iconic species. So, if you visit the Yaku Warmi community complex, you will be able to feed these animals.
These river dolphins enjoy royal status within the sanctuary, located in Ecuador’s northeastern Orellana province and overseen by 40 families from the indigenous Martinica community.
This lagoon is one of the places where pink dolphins can be seen consistently around Yasuní. It is located directly between Yasuní National Park and the Cuyabeno Fauna Reserve. Consequently, Pañacocha lagoon is a combination of black water and river lagoons.
These extremely calm backwaters are a favorite refuge for pink dolphins. Likewise, it is a wonderful place to see them constantly in Ecuador.
In conclusion, getting the chance to observe the amazing pink dolphin is something unique. Come and join one of our Amazon tours and don’t miss this wonderful experience.