Mon, 25 Jan 2021

New Delhi [India], November 24 (ANI): Environmentalists, wildlife experts and conservationists joined the virtual celebration of International Freshwater Dolphin Day organised by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) on Tuesday.

Director-General of the NMCG, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra lauded his team's success in cleaning the Ganga and its tributaries which has eventually helped in the conservation of the freshwater dolphin and a substantial surge in its count in past few years.

"The story of Dolphin conservation which started with the recognition of National Aquatic Animal has actually moved much ahead and I am really very happy to note the observation of professor Chadhaury about some of these places that include Hastinapur, Chambal, Katnia Ghat. We along with WWF have confirmed that there is some sort of improvement either it is stabilizing or there has been improvement similarly in the Vikram Chila area. From Patna to Bhagalpur area, there have been dolphins and there has been stabilizing and improvements in their health", said NMCG chief.

River dolphins, which were declared national aquatic species in 2010, act as ecological indicators of healthy riverine ecosystems.

The Central government has launched an extensive programme to conserve dolphins. Experts in the conference also suggested a number of programmes that could further enhance the pace of protecting the animal.

BC Chaudhary, Former Principal Scientist, WildLife Institute of India, Dehradun, Uttarakhand said: "On this International Dolphin Day 24th November, one month later, I have to suggest six alphabets 'E' for River Dolphin Conversation. The first one is to maintain the ecological health of the river, as you probably know the National and State Wetland Authorities are developing a health card for Wetland areas. The river and wetland areas should probably prepare a health card because of the kind of pollution and other factors that are operating".

"So, to maintain the ecological health of the river is the most and primary agenda that requires to be taken for taking care of river dolphins. Secondly, to maintain a e-flow of the river, in different seasons to maintain the depth of the river, depth required for the river dolphin, as well as it is not in the particular season, it is as required in the dry season and wet season and lean-water season. I think the e-flow maintenance not only for the river dolphins but for other associated species is important for all of us to talk about", he added.

Project Dolphin is one such effort to conserve dolphins along the 2,700kms course of Ganga. And their increasing number, which currently stands at 3,700, is testimony to recovering the health of the holy river. (ANI)

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