Good News: Population Of Ganga River Dolphins Rises To 33 From 22 In 2015
Dolphins are one of the smartest aquatic animals and they have fascinated most of us. However, most of us don’t know that India also has a wide diversity of Dolphins. According to a recent survey conducted by The World Wide Fund for Nature-India, (WWF-India) along with Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, the dolphin population in river Ganga has increased from 22 in 2015 to 33 in 2018. The officials called it a good sign as the dolphin breeds every two or three years.
According to the Hindustan Times, the survey was conducted under the ‘My Ganga, My Dolphin’ programme. The survey was done on a stretch of 205 km, spanning from Bijnor barrage to Narora barrage in Uttar Pradesh. According to the officials, among the 33 dolphins found in this stretch, three were calves, this indicates that there are signs of dolphin breeding and the river Ganga has healthy diversity.
Dolphins breed every two or three years
WWF-India Senior Coordinator Sanjeev Yadav said, “In the survey, we found 30 adults and three calves. This is an encouraging sign as dolphins are slow breeders but their population is increasing as they find sustainable environments and habitat”.
The officials further said that the significant dolphin population is found beyond Allahabad, Varanasi and Balia districts. Besides that, a small dolphin population is also found between the two barrages in western Uttar Pradesh. The conservator of forests (Meerut) for the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, Lalit Verma said, that there are water schools run by the WWF-India program, which is to help sustain dolphins and also village residents.
“The two barrages are close, and it is one of the pristine habitats and is rich in biodiversity,” he added.
He also said that now the villagers treat dolphins as part of their ecosystem. There are almost 70 schools in the marked stretch, as reported by the Hindustan Times.
“Tiger of the Ganges”
The dolphins found in river Ganga are called as ‘Tiger of the Ganges’. They are also considered as good and favourable for a healthy aquatic environment.
Apart from the stretch in Uttar Pradesh, the dolphins are also found in Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Interestingly, all of this population constitute of around 3,000 dolphins. Out of which more than 80% are found within the Indian territory.