India’s first Dolphin Community Reserve will be established in West Bengal to protect the endangered mammal, Gangetic river dolphins.
Decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the State Wildlife Board chaired by state Chief Wildlife Warden Azam Zaidi.
The reserve would be set up in the Hooghly River between Malda and Sundarbans as per provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
State Forest department also has announced that it would also conduct a census to estimate the population of dolphins.
About Gangetic river dolphins
- Gangetic river dolphins is India’s national aquatic animal and is often known as the ‘Tiger of the Ganges’.
- This dolphin species is an indicator animal which represent healthy river ecosystem in a same position as a tiger in a forest. Their population is estimated to be less than 2,000 in the country.
- Threats: Some of the major threats are habitat fragmentation due to construction of dams and barrages, direct killing, indiscriminate fishing and pollution of rivers.
Hooghly River in West Bengal is the last stretch of the Ganges River. It passes through the densely populated Kolkata city and finally meets Bay of Bengal in the Sundarbans.