By James Paladino ( | First Posted: Sep 18, 2012 06:19 PM EDT

Bolivia's President Evo Morales, Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca and Cesar Guedes, representative of The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), attend a ceremony at the Foreign Ministry in La Paz (Photo : Reuters)

Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales has taken a special interest in protecting the Bolivian Pink Dolphin with new legislation that calls upon the nation's armed forces to protect the animal.

Locally known in the Amazon as "boto," these dolphins are threatened by fisherman who view them as competition, mercury poisoning caused by illegal gold mining operations, river damming, fishing nets, pollution, and erosion in its habitat.

Now deemed a "national treasure," Inia boliviensis is now protected by fishing bans and an initiative to maintain the river basins that the dolphin inhabits.

The Bolivian pink dolphin sports a long, curved beak and uses echolocation to hunt down its prey. The animal is known to have powerful jaws with teeth proficient at crushing fish. After killing its meal, the dolphin swallows its prey whole and regurgitates its bones later.

The species is shares similarities to other dolphins found in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru. The pink dolphin is known to weight between 65 and 90 pounds.

Evo Morales is the 80th President of Bolivia and is the leader of the nation's socialist party. His profile on BBC indicates that Morales "has also taken on an outspoken role in international climate negotiations, arguing from an indigenous perspective for greater respect for 'Mother Earth."

In 2010, Bolivia hosted a climate change summit in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba.

At the time, Pablo Solon, Bolivia's UN ambassador told BBC that it was their "experience in the last process of negotiation over the last year and a half is that things are moving in a bad direction."

"I would say this is the only scenario to make balance between the pressure that at this moment the corporations are putting on the government versus the pressure that can emerge, can arise from civil society."

Bolivia's "bolo" legislation is just the latest in wider environmentally conscious agenda

Video of the Bolivian Pink Dolphin

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