Freshwater Stories

  • Chris Dodd on making conservation accessible and why a river always runs through him

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2016
    Some of Chris Dodd's most enduring memories revolve around rivers.
    Chris Dodd
  • Newborn Irrawaddy dolphin spotted in Cambodia

    July 05, 2016

    WWF conservation experts were thrilled to spot an mother Irrawaddy dolphin with her newly born baby on the banks of the Mekong River in Cambodia. Just last month, the dolphin family was found in Kampi pool, which is home to around 20 of the last remaining 80 Irrawaddy river dolphins in Cambodia. The river dolphins are beloved icons in Cambodia and females give birth only every two to three years, so any birth creates a sensation.

    Irrawaddy Dolphin Story 07052016
  • The tiger among fish

    May 19, 2016

    The king of India’s Himalayan rivers is the mighty mahseer. The mahseer are not just pretty; they're important too. The mahseer is a flagship species for India.  A flagship species is a species selected to act as an ambassador, icon or symbol for a defined habitat, issue, campaign or environmental cause. Today, five of India’s mahseer species are listed as “endangered” and two as “near threatened” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    River in India
  • Saving Colombia's daredevil fish

    Fishers have been noticing dramatic changes to the Orinoco River, and the daredevil fish in particular. In short, they're harder to find and no longer travel as far upstream. In an effort to save Colombia’s migratory fish, WWF-Colombia, the National Authority for Aquaculture and Fisheries (AUNAP), and other partners are focused on promoting more sustainable fishing practices throughout the supply chain. And, with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), WWF is trying to shed more light on the health of rivers and their vast biodiversity through projects like the basin report card.

    A man fishing on the Orinoco River in Colombia.
  • What animals live in the Asia high mountains? And eight other Asia high mountains facts

    Species like red pandas, Bengal tigers, blue sheep, Argali wild sheep, and ibex are found in Asia high mountains. Learn more about the Asia high mountains and the work that WWF is doing to protect them.

    A horseback rider rides through the mountains
  • Capturing freshwater stories through the lens of a camera

    March 22, 2016

    Since 2011, photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz has travelled to eight countries capturing images for his long-term photographic project highlighting the global water crisis. Collectively, the photographs chart the diverse and far reaching effects of urbanization, poor sanitation, pollution, water scarcity, and the side effects of expanding industry and population.

    Women collecting water
  • New Irrawaddy dolphin calf sighted in the Mekong River

    March 07, 2016

    An Irrawaddy dolphin calf was spotted swimming alongside its mother in the Mekong River—an encouraging sign for the vulnerable species.

    Irrawaddy Dolphin
  • What's a river worth?

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2016
    In Colombia’s portion of the Orinoco river basin, a cross section of society converges to assess a river’s health
    MKohut COLOMBIA Orinoco River-075
  • Celebrating wetlands and their role in supporting communities worldwide

    February 02, 2016

    More than a billion people make a living from wetlands across the world. Wetlands provide livelihoods, from fishing and eco-tourism, to farming and drinking water for communities. WWF is working to support some of the world’s most vital wetlands and the communities that depend on them across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

    wetlands in Brazil
  • Dolphin in an enclosure by the lake, waiting to be translocated
  • Continued success in the fight to save the finless porpoise from extinction

    December 17, 2015

    A healthy population of the critically endangered finless porpoises now lives in a safer part of the Yangtze River, thanks to dedicated efforts by WWF and our partners. Four adult porpoises—two male and two female—were carefully selected from a sample of 59 animals captured by a team of experts using specially designed nets from Tian-e-zhou National Oxbow Reserve.

    finless porpoise swimming
  • Conserving the Orinoco Basin for locals and tourists alike

    December 14, 2015

    WWF’s river basin report card could help protect the Orinoco for a future rich in green tourism. The report card will help everyone interested in the area—from ecotourism operators like Alejandro to industrial pioneers, to the public officials charged with managing the region—understand the current state of the Orinoco and how a healthy river is important to all.

    sunset over orinoco
  • Celebrating our conservation successes of 2015

    Every so often, it’s important to pause, take a step back, and celebrate the progress we’ve made together in conserving the world’s wildlife and beautiful places. And this year gave us much to applaud. Though our conservation challenges persist and there’s still much work to be done, we all need take a moment to appreciate just how far we’ve come by working in tandem to protect the planet we love.

    african elephants in KAZA
  • Partnering to protect a major river in South America

    The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America. The river and its surrounding forests teem with wildlife: the Orinoco crocodile, river dolphins, colorful parrots, the giant anaconda. But the river basin is also under threat from human development.

    the orinoco river
  • At the Top of the World

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2015
    Snow leopards, fresh water & climate change
    Kyrgyzstan
  • Botswana’s Freshwater Oasis for People and Wildlife

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2015
    In the middle of the Kalahari, the world’s largest inland delta is an oasis
    Water lilies in the Okavango Delta
  • Partnering to Protect a Vital Water Source in Guatemala

    October 08, 2015

    WWF and the Fundacion Defensores de la Naturaleza (FDN), which has official responsibility for managing the natural resources of Sierra de las Minas, work with local residents to protect the vast forests in the region—and the precious water that flows through them.

    sierra minas landscape
  • What’s the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise? And other river dolphin facts

    September 10, 2015

    When we think of dolphins and porpoises, we often don’t think of fresh water. But in parts of South America and Asia, several rivers are home to these charismatic species. Dolphins are among the world’s oldest creatures, along with some species of turtles, crocodiles and sharks. They provide important indicators of the health of rivers.

    Pink river dolphin breaching
  • Rain-Fed Farms: Harnessing the Power of Precipitation

    August 18, 2015

    Rain is the only source of water for some farmers in Mexico. Warmer temperatures mean water supplies are shrinking and agricultural yields are dropping. Here's how a community in the Mexican state of Chihuahua harness rainfall and use it to grow their crops.

    boy with rain-fed farm
  • Why we care about waters that cross borders

    July 22, 2015

    We depend on fresh water for everything from energy to power our cities to food to fuel our bodies and keep us alive. Yet less than 1 percent of the world’s water is fresh and accessible. This means we must work extra hard—together—to protect the invaluable finite resource.

    Rio Grande River, Texas
  • Diving deep into fresh water with WWF's Karin Krchnak

    WWF's Karin Krchnak is passionate about connecting the links between communities’ access to clean water and the role that individuals, especially women, can play in conserving the world’s freshwater resources. She has devoted much of her career to exploring how the sustainable management of rivers can benefit both people and nature.

    Fresh water
  • The Earth Has a Third Pole—And Millions of People Use Its Water

    June 04, 2015

    Overlapping heavily with snow leopard habitat, the Third Pole encompasses the snow-covered mountains surrounding the Tibetan Plateau. The Pole’s thousands of glaciers and regular snow melt form the headwaters for 10 of Asia’s biggest rivers, which bring drinking water, power and irrigation directly to 210 million people, while these river basins indirectly support more than 1.3 billion people.

    lake and mountains in asia
  • A Passion for Conservation Along the Rio Grande

    May 20, 2015

    Big Bend National Park’s river ranger Mike Ryan is passionate about working to conserve the river for future generations. Growing up less than five miles from the river, Ryan has long appreciated its charm, power and role in sustaining life. As a park ranger, Ryan is primarily responsible for law enforcement and protecting Park visitors. However, he spends whatever extra time he can find assisting the Park’s and partnering scientists, conservationists and managers as they restore the river after decades of decline.

    mike ryan in canoe
  • Meet the world's hottest freshwater fish

    Known locally as El Cabezón de Julimes, several thousand pupfish take up exclusive residency in El Pandeño de los Pandos hot springs in this small municipality about 80 minutes southeast of City of Chihuahua, Mexico. Rarely more than two inches long, pupfish live in water that reaches 114 degrees Fahrenheit, earning it the title of “hottest fish in the world.” 

    pupfish