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  • 04 November, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Gangetic River Dolphin

Gangetic River Dolphin

Dolphins have begun to return to the Ganga River as the quality of its water has improved due to the Namami Gange Programme.

Regarding the Gangetic River Dolphin

  • The Ganges River dolphin was formally discovered in 1801.
  • In 2009, they were designated as India's National Aquatic Animal.

About Freshwater dolphins:

  • The Gangetic River dolphin is one of the world's four freshwater dolphin species.
  • The other three are the baiji of China's Yangtze River, the bhulan of Pakistan's Indus River, and the boto of Latin America's Amazon River.
  • Ganges river dolphins used to live in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh's Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems.
  • However, the species has become extinct in most of its original distribution ranges.
  • The Ganges river dolphins are found in seven Indian states: Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
  • The Ganges River dolphins can only live in freshwater and are completely blind.
  • They are frequently found alone or in small groups, and a mother and calf will usually travel together.
  • Females are larger than males and have only one calf every two to three years.
  • In the water, the Dolphin cannot breathe. As a mammal, it emerges every 30-120 seconds to breathe fresh air.
  • Navigation and hunting are accomplished through the use of a highly developed sonar system,' which employs echolocation (ultrasonic sounds).
  • Susu, Hihu, Blind dolphin, Ganga river dolphin, side swimming dolphin, and South Asian river dolphin are some of the other names for them.
  • They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds that bounce off of fish and other prey, allowing them to visualise an image in their heads.
  • The IUCN Red List classifies Ganges river dolphins as Endangered.

Environmental importance:

  • They are a sign of a thriving ecosystem.
  • They are the top predators in the freshwater food chain, and their presence indicates that the water is clean and that there are a variety of prey species present, such as fish, turtles, crustaceans, and so on.


  • Dam construction, barrages, irrigation projects, and fishing are all activities that are dividing and isolating Ganga river dolphin populations, significantly reducing their range.
  • Poachers slaughter them for their meat, fat, and oil. They are also occasionally injured by machines in the water or become entangled in fishing nets.

Katarnia Wildlife Refuge

  • It is located in the Terai of Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district, in the Upper Gangetic plain.
  • It is located within the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve Lakhimpur kheri.
  • It provides strategic connectivity between the Dudhwa and Kishanpur tiger habitats in India and Nepal.
  • It is home to endangered species such as gharial, tiger, rhino, Gangetic dolphin, Swamp deer, Hispid hare, Bengal florican, and White-backed and Long-billed vultures.

Read Also: Tiger Reserves and Tiger Census- UPSC

Source: The Hindu

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