Whale Shark – UPSC Prelims

Whale Shark:
  • Whale Shark(Rhincodon typus) is the largest known extant fish species.
  • Features: Whale Sharks are a ‘filter feeder shark’ which means it does not eat meat like other sharks. They filter seawater and feed on tiny planktons.
  • Habitat: The whale shark is found in open waters of the tropical oceans and is rarely found in water below 21 °C (70 °F). In India, they are mostly found in the Gulf of Mannar and Gujarat coast.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Endangered
    • CITES: Appendix II
    • Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • Threats:
    • Oil & gas drilling, shipping lanes
    • Accidental entanglement in fishing nets

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