Orinoco River Basin, South America
An epic journey
These waters are home to the critically endangered Orinoco crocodile, river dolphins, giant river otters, the giant anaconda and more than 1,000 fish species.
It is also a hub for rich birdlife, including flamingos, colourful parrots and the scarlet ibis.
In good conditionCompared to many of the world’s river systems, the Orinoco is relatively intact.
But this may not last for long as the river and its surrounding areas are threatened by pollution and mining activities.
Large areas of the flooded forests have been cleared for agriculture and cattle ranching. And large dams planned for several major tributaries will destroy water flows that support the region’s unique aquatic life.
WWF is working on the ground in Venezuela and Colombia with local communities to protect one of South America's most important rivers.
River dolphins at risk
A recent survey of South America's river dolphins counted 3,188 pink river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) and grey river dolphins (Sotalia fluviatilis) in 3,600km of rivers in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. The survey will help conservationists develop strategies to protect these endangered freshwater species and their habitat.