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Decrease in Dolphin Number

  Aug 04, 2020

Decrease in Dolphin Number

Q. Why is this in News?

A. According to the latest census report prepared by the Madhya Pradesh forest department, the number of dolphins in Chambal River has been reduced by 13% in 4 years.

There are just 68 dolphins left in the 435-kilometre-long Chambal river sanctuary which passes through three states i.e. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Gangetic Dolphins are the sanctuary’s main attraction. The decreasing trend is continuing from 2016 when there were 78 dolphins.

Q. What was its status in past?

A. The maximum carrying capacity of dolphins in Chambal is 125. 

The dolphins were spotted for the first time in 1985 in Chambal River (a tributary of Yamuna) near Etawah, Uttar Pradesh at that time, the number was more than 110.

Q. What are reasons for its decline?

Q. What are some of Governments initiative for same?

Q. What is habitat of Gangetic Dolphin?

A. It is found in parts of the Ganges-Meghna-Brahmaputra and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

It requires at least 3 metre depth and optimum flow for sustainable habitat.

Q. Are they fresh water species?

A. Yes, It is among the four freshwater dolphins in the world. 

The other three are:

These four species live only in rivers and lakes.

Q. What is its peculiar characteristics?

A. It has rudimentary eyes and uses echolocation (through ultrasonic sound) to navigate and hunt. It is a highly intelligent freshwater mammal placed into the infraorder Cetacea. It is India's national aquatic animal and is popularly known as ‘Susu’.

Q. What is the Protection Status of Gangetic Dolphin?