This gallery is part of a special National Geographic news series on global water issues.
Local men rescue an Indus river dolphin in Sind Province, Pakistan.
The endangered Indus dolphin is the only river dolphin species on the rise, with populations estimated at around 1,700 in 2006, up from 1,200 in 2001.
While this species treads water, the decline and near extinction of several other species of river dolphins is an indication of the deterioration of water quality and quantity, as well as human health, around the globe, according to a new WWF report released yesterday during World Water Week in Stockholm.
One species—the Yangtze river dolphin or baiji—has already been declared extinct.
The environmental nonprofit WWF profiles the seven remaining known species, many of which are facing significant survival threats from water pollution, competition with fisheries, and habitat fragmentation through dams and other water infrastructure.
—Tasha Eichenseher, reporting from World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden