News: Bihar government is setting up India’s first Dolphin observatory in the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary(VGDS).
- Gangetic river dolphin: It is India’s national aquatic animal found in parts of the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra river systems in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
- They are locally known as Susu which refers to the noise the dolphin is said to make when it breathes.
- Significance: They can be an indicator of the health of the freshwater ecosystem as they can only live in freshwater.
- IUCN Red List: Endangered
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
- CITES: Appendix I
- Threats: Declining water level, Climate Change, Poaching and increase in pollution level.
- Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary(VGDS): It is located in Bhagalpur District of Bihar.It was designated as a protected area for the Gangetic dolphins in 1991.