146 Irrawaddy Dolphins sighted during Dolphin Census in Chilika Lake

On Sunday, 19th January 2020, Odisha forest department officials, Chilika Development Authority (CDA) along with wildlife experts and researchers undertook the Dolphin Census in the Chilka Lake in Odisha and sighted 146 Irrawady dolphins. The estimated range of the population of the dolphins was 133-172 as the population of the aquatic mammal species last year was 151. After the removal of certain encroachments in the lake, the dolphins are found colonizing in the central and southern regions of the lake for the first time. Chilika Lake is the largest brackish water lake in India, situated in the state of Odisha. It is also home to the highest single lagoon population of the endangered species called Irrawady dolphins. At present, the total population of the Irrawaddy dolphins is estimated to be less than 7,500 globally out of which 6,000 as per report are in Bangladesh, as the officials of the Chilka lake expect the population of the Irrawaddy Dolphins will increase in upcoming years as there has been a stability in the population in the last couple of years.

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