GoI has launched the first across the river survey in the Ganga river

  • GoI has launched the first across the river survey in the Ganga river to assess the population of marine life, including the endangered Gangetic dolphin.
  • Survey will create a baseline scientific data for governments to take up suitable measures to enhance the river water quality, according to the National Mission for Clean Ganga.
  • The first stretch of the survey was launched on March 1 from Narora in UP to Bijnor (covering around 165 km to establish the number of national marine animals).
  • The enumeration in the stretch from Allahabad to Varanasi is around 250 km in length.
  • Fish species composition in the 2525 km long river has been started from Harshil in Uttarakhand.
  • The authority is conducting the survey through Wildlife Institute of India, an autonomous institution of Environment and Forest Ministry, under Namami Gange Programme.
  • The disappearance of Gangetic dolphins, one of 4 freshwater dolphins in the world, stretches from Narora to Kanpur due to the pollution.
  • Study will locate stretches where dolphins are habitating, what conditions there are and levels of threat faced by the species in a particular belt.
  • Besides this, numerous dolphins, ghariyals and turtles in the river will also be ascertained after summer sets in completely as nesting takes place then and the counting will continue till October in 2017.
  • Besides populace count, the study will also assess the distribution pattern of aquatic life in the river, extent of threat level faced and habitat conditions.

Gangetic Dolphins: Know More

  • The South Asian river dolphin is a freshwater or river dolphin found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
  • It is split into two subspecies, the Ganges river dolphin and Indus river dolphin.
  • Scientific name: Platanista gangetica
  • Rank: Species
  • Higher classification: Platanista

Points to Remember:

  • India has declared Ganga Dolphin as the National Aquatic Animal of India.
  • There are various conservation works going on the Sanctuary Areas to protect the National Aquatic Animal of India. Vikramshila Gangetic dolphin sanctuary is the only the only protected area for the endangered Gangetic dolphins in Asia. It is located in Bhagalpur District of Bihar, India.
  • Guwahati is the first Indian city to have an animal Mascot as Gangetic river dolphin, It is the first city in India to have a city animal. River dolphin is locally known as Sihu and is on the verge of extinction along with Softshell Turtle and Adjutant Stork.
  • The species has crystalline eye lens and is partially blind. But can make way through light. Navigation and hunting are carried out using echolocation.
  • The diet includes a variety of fish and invertebrates, namely prawns, clams, catfish, freshwater sharks, and carp.
  • Listed by the IUCN as endangered on their Red List of Threatened Species.
  • India has declared dolphins as ‘non-human persons’ and hence forbids their captivity for entertainment purposes.

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