Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Gangetic dolphin survey in Uttar Pradesh provides some good news

10% increase in Gangetic dolphins 
October 2012. WWF-India, in partnership with the State Forest Department of Uttar conducted a 3 day survey and awareness program in and around Uttar Pradesh to raise awareness about the Ganges River Dolphin. The survey, the total number of Gangetic dolphins in UP rose from 600 in 2005 to 671. In an earlier WWF-India report, the population of Gangetic dolphins in 1982 was estimated to be around 4000-5000 in India, but it is now less than 2000 with an annual mortality estimated to be at 130-160 animals.
The campaign involved the following activities:
A survey of the number of dolphins across approximately a 3000km stretch of the Ganges and its key tributaries (Yamuna, Son, Ken, Betwa, Ghagra, and Geruwa)
Awareness programs for local communities in and around the banks of the Ganga for the conservation of the aquatic mammal
Capacity building of stakeholders associated with the conservation of the Ganges River Dolphin
Ganges River Dolphin
The Ganges River Dolphin, one of the four freshwater dolphins of the world, commonly known as the "Susu" or "Soons" is an endemic fauna of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna river systems. The Ganges river dolphin prefers to stay in the deep waters in and around the confluence of two or more rivers. 'Susu' shares its habitat with crocodiles, freshwater turtles and wetland birds many of which are fish eaters and are potential competitors with dolphins. Often known as the "Tiger of the Ganges" the river dolphin is an indicator animal, which has the same position in a river ecosystem as a tiger in a forest
The survey was carried out under the aegis of the HSBC- supported Rivers for Life, Life for Rivers program.

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