Prime Minister Modi announced ‘Project Gangetic Dolphin’ today (15 August), on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence day, for the conservation of the Gangetic Dolphins — as part of the conversation on the riverine dolphin.
PM Modi’s announcement — aimed at conserving the riverine and oceanic dolphins — has come 10 years after the Gangetic Dolphin was declared the national aquatic animal (2009).River dolphins, including the Gangetic dolphins, play the vital role of being ecological indicators. They point at the healthy river ecosystems and are the prime species indicating the conservation status of the river systems.Prime Minister Modi’s announcement will be backed by work from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change (MoEF).Project Dolphin is a 10-year project and follows the conservation projects of fame dedicated to the conservation of tigers, under Project Tiger, and elephants, under Project Elephant, in Indian animal conservation history.
MoEF is working towards addressing conservation concerns. The project will embrace scientific conservation methods, and envelope the existing stakeholders that are dependent on the rivers that cradle the freshwater dolphin.
The Gangetic River Dolphin has her home in the waters of the Ganga and Brahmaputra. It is also found in the Meghna and Karnaphuli river systems (outside the Indian territory — in Nepal and Bangladesh).Reportedly, the freshwater dolphins in the Indian territory account for 80 per cent of the total dolphin count.The Gangetic dolphin is among the subspecies of the South Asian River Dolphin. The Indus Dolphin — one of the two subspecies — is found in the Beas river., the species of freshwater dolphins found mainly in the Ganga, has been spotted in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Assam.