Gangetic River Dolphin

Gangetic River Dolphin:
  • National Aquatic Animal of India
  • They are freshwater dolphins.
  • It is one of the four freshwater dolphin species in the world. The other three are found in Yangtze river, Indus river in Pakistan and Amazon river.
  • It is found in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • IUCN Status : Endangered
  • It is also placed in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Major threats:
    • Fishing nets
    • Hunting for their oil and meat
    • Water pollution
  • MoEFCC had launched Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Programme in 1997 to build a scientific database of their population status and also study their habitat quality of the dolphins’ distribution range.
  • Fresh water dolphin species are practically blind. They rely on bio-sonar method to move around and catch their prey.
  • Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary located in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district of Bihar is India’s only dolphin sanctuary is spread over 50 km along the Ganges.
  • National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) will be set up on the banks of the Ganga river in Patna University campus in Patna.
Previous Year Questions:
Q 1.) Other than poaching, what are the possible reasons for the decline in the population of Ganges River Dolphins? (2014)
1. Construction of dams and barrages on rivers
2. Increase in the population of crocodiles in rivers
3. Getting trapped in fishing nets accidentally
4. Use of synthetic fertilisers and other agricultural chemicals in crop-fields in the vicinity of rivers
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Ans: (c)

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