The snubfin dolphins (Orcaella) are a genus of cetaceans containing two members: the Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) and the Australian snubfin dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni). The genus was long believed to be monotypic with the only species being the Irrawaddy dolphin; however, in 2005, supposed Irrawaddy dolphin populations inhabiting the Australian/New Guinean regions were found to be significantly different and were declared a separate new species named the Australian snubfin dolphin.
Irrawaddy dolphins are mainly found in shallow and coastal waters in the Indo-West Pacific region. The Range of their presence stretches from the Bay of Bengal to the northeastern Australian Coast. One of their most common habitats are in the Mekong River of southern Laos, Ranging from the Khone Falls all the way to the Cambodian Border. Much of the data on the Irrawaddy dolphins of this region is collected by the Lao shore, where they are sighted daily during the dry season supposedly due to the importance of deep-water pools in the area. Their geographic range also extends to the coasts of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia with some even being restricted to freshwater environments such as certain bodies of water in India and Thailand. They are known to stay relatively close to the shore, with most sightings being as close 1.6 kilometers off the shoreline and as far as 5 kilometers.