"My Ganga, My Dolphin"
In a collaborative effort World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-India and the Uttar Pradesh forest department with the support of HSBC Bank will hold a 3-day programme "My Ganga, My Dolphin" to count the number of river dolphins in the Ganges River in and around Uttar Pradesh. The programme will also make people aware about the endangered mammal.
Ganges River Dolphin:
- Ganges River Dolphin or Platanista gangetica is the National Aquatic Animal of India. This mammal is also believed represent the purity of the holy Ganges as it can only survive in pure and fresh water. They are locally known as susu, because of the noise it makes while breathing. This species are found in various regions of the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra rivers in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the Karnaphuli River in Bangladesh.
What is the current status of this species?
- River dolphin is a critically endangered species in India and therefore, has been included in the Schedule I for the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The main reasons for fall in population of the species are poaching and habitat destruction due to declining flow, heavy siltation, construction of dams creating physical barrier for this migratory species.