1st census of the Indus Dolphins conducted in Punjab

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The first-ever census of the Indus Dolphins is being conducted by the Punjab Government in collaboration with the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) India. The main aim behind the exercise is to establish the accurate population of the dolphins, in order to plan the conservation of the species accordingly.

  • It is the first organised census and would be conducted over a period of five days.
  • It will be conducted by two joint teams of Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab and WWF-India. 
  • Indus Dolphins are one of the rarest mammals found only in India and Pakistan. It is the National mammal of Pakistan.
  • The Indus dolphins are confined to only a 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in India’s Beas river in Punjab. 
  • Dolphins are a key indicator of river health- if a river is healthy the dolphins will be there.
  • Indus Dolphin was also found in Sutlej decades back, but river pollution has caused its extinction in Sutlej.
  • Indus dolphins are one of the seven freshwater dolphins found across the world.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) suspects the population size of the Indus river dolphins has reduced by more than 50% since 1944.
  • Their numbers have declined dramatically after construction of irrigation system.
  • It listed by the IUCN as endangered on its Red List of Threatened Species.