The Irrawaddy dolphin is patchily distributed in shallow, near-shore tropical and subtropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific, from northeastern Australia in the south, north to the Philippines (Dolar et al. 2002) and west to northeastern India (Stacey and Leatherwood 1997; Stacey and Arnold 1999). Its marine distribution is concentrated in estuaries and semi-enclosed water bodies (i.e., bays and sounds), generally adjacent to mangrove forests. Freshwater populations occur in three river systems - the Mahakam of Indonesia, the Ayeyarwady (formerly Irrawaddy) of Myanmar (formerly Burma) and the Mekong of Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Irrawaddy dolphins also occur in partially isolated brackish or fresh-water bodies, including Chilka Lake in India and Songkhla Lake in Thailand. Irrawaddy dolphins were first recorded in Songkhla Lake by Pilleri and Gihr (1974) who examined three stranded specimens from Thala Luang, north of Papayurn Island.
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