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Endangered River Dolphins Increase Slightly

River dolphins living in a stretch of the Ganges in the Bihar area were reported to have increased from 175 to 223. The count was performed by Vikramshila Biodiversity Research and Education Centre (VBREC) of Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University (TMBU). Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary is where the endangered dolphins live, and it is supposed to be a protected area for them. It is about fifty kilometers in length and was designated in 1991.

Ganges river dolphins are still hunted by some fisherman for the meat and oil. The oil is used sometimes as an ointment and aphrodisiac. It isn’t likely to have any particular effect and sounds more like superstitions humans have made about consuming animals or animal parts based on unfounded traditional beliefs. Since the 1980s there may have been over 10,000 Ganges river dolphins, yet now there may only be 2,000. Pollution of the Ganges with chemicals, and dam construction also have contributed to the steep decline. The Bihar government has set up a task force for river dolphin conservation. In February another dolphin count will be conducted.

Bihar’s economy is mainly agricultural, and employs about eighty percent of all workers there. The government is trying to organize more organic farming so if that practice gains popularity, perhaps there will be less pollution of the Ganges, which obviously would be better for all the aquatic wildlife, including the river dolphins.

Image Credit: 7 Wonders of India

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6:24AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012


11:54AM PDT on May 2, 2012

good news!

1:56AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

I wish to know such a good news in future.Cheers

11:33PM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

Thank you.

9:49PM PST on Jan 21, 2012

Good to hear this, I'm glad that the government is trying to implement organic farming, it would make a huge difference in India!

10:20AM PST on Nov 17, 2011

It fills me with hope, it will be great if they build on this success.

6:37AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

good form them

8:52PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Good news.

5:14PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Great news!

3:15PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

At last -- a story about some (okay -- just a little) success!

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