In news- Recently, the Ministry of Jal Shakti has released a guide for the safe rescue and release of stranded Ganges River Dolphins.
Guide to Safe Rescue and release of Stranded Gangetic Dolphins-
- The document is the detailed description of the methods of a safe capture and translocation established to rescue stranded dolphins and return them to their original habitats.
- It has been prepared by the Turtle Survival Alliance, India Program and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department (EFCCD), Uttar Pradesh.
About Ganges River Dolphins (GRDs)
- These Dolphins have been designated the National Aquatic Animal of India since 2010.
- It can be found throughout the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India and Bangladesh.
- The Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind.
- They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind.
- Its population is estimated at 4,000, and nearly 80% is found in the Indian subcontinent.
- Wide-scale habitat degradation from pollution, hydroelectric and development projects and industrial run-off,
- Accidental deaths via entanglement in fishing nets, opportunistic poaching for meat and oil in certain pockets of the country
- They often accidentally enter canal channels in northern India and are often entrapped, and die as they are unable to swim up against the gradient, eventually getting stressed and harassed by the locals.
- ‘Endangered’ under IUCN Red List.
- Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act (1972).
- Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)-
- It was formed in 2001 as an IUCN partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises.
- It arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, a situation known as the Asian Turtle Crisis.