Conservation of Dolphin

  • As per studies conducted on river dolphin, population of Gangetic River dolphin in the mainstream Ganga is known to be stable, although there has been decline in tributaries.
About Gangetic River Dolphin:
  • The Ganges River dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind.
  • They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind.
  • Distribution: Seven states namely, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Habitat: The upper Ganga River (in Uttar Pradesh), Chambal River (Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh), Ghaghra and Gandak Rivers (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh), Ganga River, from Varanasi to Patna (Uttar Pradesh and Bihar), Son and Kosi rivers (Bihar), Brahmaputra from Sadia (foothills of Arunachal Pradesh) upto Dhubri (on the Bangladesh border) and Kulsi River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra River, form ideal habitats for the Ganges River dolphin.
  • Protection Status:
    • IUCN Status: Endangered 
    • Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972Schedule I.
Government Efforts for conservation of Gangetic River Dolphin:
  • Gangetic river dolphin has been designated as the National aquatic Animal of India.
  • The Ministry has included Gangetic River dolphin as one of the 22 critically endangered species for providing financial assistance to States under the Centrally sponsored scheme ‘Development of Wildlife habitats’.
  • Important habitats of Gangetic river dolphin along the Ganges river has been notified as Protected Areas, such as Vikramshila Dolphin Sanctuary, Bihar.
  • A comprehensive action plan (2022-2047) has been developed to ensure well being of the river dolphin and aquatic habitats, the role of various stakeholders and line Ministries have been identified.
Other River Dolphins around World:
  • Indus River Dolphin: Now found only in the lower parts of the Indus River in Pakistan and in River Beas, a tributary of the Indus River in Punjab, India.
  • Amazon river Dolphin: Unique freshwater species found only in the rivers of South America.
  • Irrawaddy Dolphin: found in marine, brackish, and freshwater environments throughout southeast Asia.
  • Yangtze finless porpoise: Only freshwater porpoise in the world. It can only be found in China’s Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia.
  • Tucuxis: Overlap in range with Amazon River dolphins inhabiting the central region of the Amazon River basin
News Source: PIB

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