The franciscana appears to be less threatened by habitat degradation that the other river dolphins, although large numbers are taken in commercial fisheries. The areas of fiver and sea in which the franciscana lives also carry the heavy coastal traffic from ten major ports which between them handle most of the shipborne trade to and from Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.

High levels of man-made compounds such as DDT and the highly toxic PCBs were found in eight franciscana examined in Uruguayan waters in 1980.

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