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Ganges River Dolphin Declared India’s National Aquatic Animal

January 19, 2010

ganges river dolphin - www.wwf.orgSomething positive for a change!  The critically endangered Ganges river dolphin has been declared India’s national aquatic animal, a government spokesperson announced today.

Conservationists estimates only about 2,000 of these enigmatic dolphins remain.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment and Forests told vambam.com that the main reasons for the decline in the dolphin numbers to such low numbers were ‘poaching and habitat degradation’. Their river habitat is suffering a reduced water flow, heavy siltation and construction of barrages that cause a physical barrier preventing this specieis from migratory across its natural range.

The spokesperson said Ganges river dolphins have been included in the Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, ‘thereby affording them the highest degree of protection’.

Seems like there are some details still to work out, with WWF saying that ‘the absence of a coordinated conservation plan, lack of awareness and continuing human pressure are posing an incessant threat to the existing dolphin population’.

Still … seems a nice note for today none-the-less!

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Other posts on these wonderful river dolphins:

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