India’s first dolphin observatory coming up in Bihar

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News: Bihar government is setting up India’s first Dolphin observatory in the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary(VGDS).

Facts:

  • 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.

Additional Facts:

  • 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.