National Dolphin Research Centre to come up in Patna

Much-awaited National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) will soon come up in Patna. Process to set up the research centre has started.

Key facts

  • Opening up of the research centre will be a big step towards conservation of endangered Gangetic River dolphin.
  • To set up the research centre, NDRC is coming up on 4,400 square metre plots of land in premises of Patna University, near banks of River Ganga.
  • Bihar urban development department has already cleared construction of NDRC’s building at a distance of 200 metres from the Ganga.
  • Bihar forest, environment and climate change department had however sought approval for this because construction within 200 metres of Ganga is restricted.

Project Dolphin

Project Dolphin was started on the lines of Project Tiger, which has helped in increasing tiger population. This initiative got in-principle approval in December 2019 at first meeting of National Ganga Council (NGC), headed by the Prime Minister. This is a “Special Conservation program” taken up to save the Gangetic Dolphin. This project will be implemented by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

What are the concerns?

Dolphin habitat has been threatened and disturbed in River Ganga. Thus, NDRC is now conservation efforts of dolphins. NDRC will provide an opportunity for in-depth research on dolphins including on changing behavior, food habits, survival skills, cause of death and other such aspects.

Distribution of Dolphin

Dolphin is found in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Bihar is home to half of estimated 3,000 Gangetic dolphins in India.

About Gangetic River dolphin

Gangetic Dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal. It has been listed as Schedule I animal under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. It has been declared “endangered” by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Gangetic Dolphin is one among four freshwater dolphin species across world. Other three freshwater dolphins are found in Yangtze River in China (they have extinct now), Indus River in Pakistan and Amazon River in South America. It is blind and finds its way & prey in river waters through echolocation. They prefer water at least five to eight feet deep and are usually found in turbulent waters, where they can find enough fish for them.

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