It is a matter of concern for government bodies and people of India that our nation is to lose its already blind and endangered national aquatic animal soon, The Ganges river dolphin.
After, the government declaration, Ganges river dolphin becomes the National Aquatic Animal of India. The Ganga Dolphin, also known as a member of Indus river dolphin, is an uncommon species of dolphins resides in water bodies in India and its neighbor countries. Dolphins are amongst one of the ancient creatures in the globe along with some varieties of turtles, sharks, and crocodiles. Dolphins are sea mammals which have about 24 different species. Most of these are inhabitants of seawater whereas only four are freshwater inhabitants.
Ganges River Dolphin, an exceptional species
Ganges river dolphins are greyish brown and have a round belly, large flippers, and a long and slender snout. The eyes do not have lenses, but they can still locate themselves. The slit over the head is used for inhalation. They float up once in every 30 to 120 seconds for breathing. They swim on a single side so that the flipper follows on the bed of the river in search of food.
The calves are born with darker colorations which lighten with the growth of the age. They are famous for their kind nature since they provide food to catfish, sharks, and prawns in the fresh water, carp, clams, and gobies. Although they do not move around, these dolphins move upstream when the level of water rises and get into shallower streams.
Ganges river dolphin prefers inhabiting waters with counter-currents, especially where streams converge and in the upstream and downstream of islands found in the mid-channel. They co-exist with other water animals such as turtles, crocodiles, and wetland birds.
The female dolphins in this variety are more significant than the male dolphins. While the earlier measure roughly 2.67 m in length, the afterward measure is up to 2.17 m only. The male dolphin accomplishes sexual maturity by the age of 10. The gestation period remains from 9 to 11 months. The female dolphin delivers a calf once in every 2 to 3 years. The idyllic time of delivery is around October to March with a crest in December and January.
Ganges river dolphin: on the edge of extinction
Soon to be lost our endangered National Aquatic Animal
Dolphins share their habitation with crocodiles, wetland birds, and freshwater turtles. Inhabited rivers of Dolphins are The Sacred River Ganga, Gandak, Chambal and the Brahmaputra River from the Arunachal Pradesh- Assam border to India-Bangladesh border.
These previously existed in groups, but recent studies have found them living solitary lives or a maximum of 2 in the group. ICUN declared this species as endangered after checking all the records of the sighting. This is due to the over-exploitation of the basins for construction of dams, irrigation, siltation, etc. Another reason for the extinction is deforestation, accidentally being trapped and pollution. With the accomplishment of the Wildlife Protection Act-1972, Ganges river dolphins are being sheltered.
Dolphins are becoming endangered because of less habitation area due to the construction of dams, fishing, and pesticide. They are also a great hunt for oil and meat. Dolphins in India came under extinct animals due to polluted water bodies and poaching. Every year almost 100 Dolphins are the target due to the human requirement.
Presence of Ganga dolphins is a sign of a balanced ecosystem. Since they are from the top of the food chain, the presence of an adequate number of dolphins indicates greater biodiversity in the waters. The most recent count has estimated a maximum of 1,200 to 1,800 Ganges river dolphin in a particular location. Conservation and teaching to locals will help out in preserving dolphins.
Some of the Conservations
There are a variety of conservation works going on the Sanctuary Areas to shelter the National Aquatic Animal of India. Vikramshila Gangetic dolphin sanctuary is the single area for the endangered Gangetic dolphins in Asia that protects them. The Bhagalpur District of Bihar state, India is resident for the sanctuary. There are only a few hundred dolphins alive in India. It is said that more than half of the total hundreds are found in this sanctuary.
Aaranyak NGO and WWF-India have been working strictly with various government sectors to protect these Dolphins of India.
Guwahati is the primary Indian city to have an animal amulet as Gangetic river dolphin; it is the foremost city in India to have an animal city. River dolphin is common as Sihu and is on the edge of extinction. Apart from this, the Adjutant Stork and Softshell Turtle are also on the verge of extinction.