Important for IAS~IFoS Prelims Exam 2022, CDS Exam and AC(CAPF) Exam
Indus River Dolphin
🖊 India conducted census of dolphins.
🖊 Project Dolphin”, will be starting with workshops in November 2021
🖊 There are currently two species of the river dolphins inhabiting India, Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) and the Indus River Dolphin (Platanista minor).
🖊 Ganges River Dolphin is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 ,and was declared as the national aquatic animal of India and the state aquatic animal of Assam in 2009.
🖊 They are also accorded the highest protection priority for conservation, by being listed in Appendix I of CITES and Appendix II of CMS COP.
🖊 Approx. 1800-2000 dolphins have been estimated in the current distribution range in India.
🖊 In 2007, a remnant but viable population of Indus dolphins was discovered in Punjab’s Harike wildlife sanctuary and in the lower Beas river.
🖊 In 2019, Indus River dolphin was declared as the State aquatic animal of Punjab.
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Order : Cetartiodactyla
Family : Platanistidae
Genus : Platanista
Species : gangetica
🖊 Females are larger than males and give birth once every two to three years to only one calf
🖊 The Ganges river dolphins can only live in freshwater and are essentially blind.
🖊 They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds waves that bounce off of fish and other prey.
🖊 The Ganges river dolphin cannot breathe in water and must surface every 30-120 seconds.
🖊 The sound it produces when breathing, the animal is popularly referred to as ‘Susu’
🖊Poaching for dolphin oil, used as fish attractant and for medicinal purposes.
🖊 Habitat destruction due to development projects (e.g. water extraction and the construction of barrages, high dams and embankments), pollution (industrial waste and pesticides, municipal sewage discharge and noise from vessel traffic) and overexploitation of prey mainly due to the widespread use of non-selective fishing gear.