Dolphins in Ganga

Dolphins in Ganga

Dolphins in Ganga

Details on topic “Dolphins in Ganga”

Prelims: Environment and Conservations efforts

Context: Recently, it has been observed that with improvement in quality of water, Dolphins which are considered as indicator species have returned to river.

About Ganges River Dolphin:

    • Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista Gangetica) are found in river systems of Ganga, Brahmaputra, Meghna, and Karnaphulli-Sangu in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. It was officially discovered in 1801.
    • The government has declared Ganges River Dolphin as National aquatic animal of India in 2009.
    • They are indicator-species which means if a stretch of river is polluted, the dolphin is likely to shift to another stretch indicating pollution in water.
    • They are also called Susu owing to voice they create.
    • Since they are blind, they the use the method of “Echolocation” to catch their prey.
    • Their lifespan varies from 20-26 years.
Dolphins in Ganga

Pic: Dolphins in Ganga

Threats to Gangetic Dolphin:

    1. Toxicity of rivers
    2. Dredging in river for creating transport channels.
    3. Killing for their flesh, oil derived from their bodies.
    4. Fishnets

Initiative taken to conserve:

    1. Project Dolphin: This initiative was introduced during the first meeting of National ganga Council in 2019 under Arth Ganga. It is brought on the lines of Project Tiger, which increased the population of tiger in India.
    2. It is listed as “Endangered” in IUCN red list since 1996.
    3. The government in order to create awareness among people celebrates 5th October as National Ganga Dolphin Day.
    4. The government has established state-of art Vikramshila Ganges Dolphin Sanctuary.

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