INDIA’S FIRST DOLPHIN RESEARCH CENTER SOON IN PATNA

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Patna's very own dolphin research center 


These loveable and adorable carnivorous sea mammals require some lime light and the National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) is a positive step on this front. It will boost conservation efforts for the endangered Gangetic river dolphin as well as enable in-depth research on them including changing behavior, survival skills, food habits, cause of death and other aspects.

The officials in Patna have stated that the construction work on the building will begin post-monsoon this year, whose foundation stone was laid last year by chief minister Nitish Kumar and the fund for the project had already been allocated to the building construction department (BCD). However, it did not go any further due to some issue with Patna University on the society formation which was eventually sorted out.

The project was proposed in 2011 but was stalled for eight years and now, the state government has finally decided to speed up the work.

The NDRC wants to establish a 4,400 square meter plot on the premises of Patna University, close to the banks of Ganga. Approximately 1,455 dolphins have been spotted in the Ganga by research experts and scientists reported in a survey conducted in 2018-19.

It is India’s national aquatic animal, often falling prey to illegal poaching and their numbers have been dwindling ever since. The Gangetic Dolphin is a Schedule 1 animal under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. They have been declared an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The presence of these aquatic life forms sheds a positive ray on the healthy ecosystem that entrails the Ganga, as they live 5-8 feet in deep water. Surviving mainly on wide variety of fish and cephalopods, they are generally fond of turbulent waters where abundant pry dwell. Even though they live in a zone where there is little to no current in order to conserve energy.

These dolphins are blind and find their path through echolocation, Bihar hosts around a half of the total 3,000 Gangetic dolphins in India.

The Indian Gangetic river dolphin is one of the four freshwater species in the world, other three are found in the Yangtze river in China (now extinct), the Indus river in Pakistan and the Amazon river in South America.

This could not have come at a later time. Ever since a recent video circulated on the social media, where people (Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh) were seen mauling a dolphin that had swim ashore. This made us realize how little we are aware about these water creature. So perhaps, this initiative might be able to educate the populous at large.

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