National Dolphin Day - 5 October
Tags: Important Days
National Dolphin Day is celebrated every year on 5 October.
An Overview of the News
National Dolphin Day aims to raise awareness for dolphin conservation.
Dolphins are valuable ecological indicators of a healthy aquatic ecosystem, contributing to the overall health of the Earth.
History of National Dolphin Day
On 5 October 2009, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared the Ganges dolphin as the 'National Aquatic Animal' during the inaugural meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority.
Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav announced the celebration of National Dolphin Day on March 25, 2022, during the 67th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Wildlife Board.
The second National Dolphin Day was observed on October 5, 2023.
About Ganga Dolphin:
Scientific Name: Platanista gangetica.
The Ganges dolphin is one of the five main species of river dolphins worldwide.
They are found mainly in the Indian subcontinent, especially in river systems such as the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Indus-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu.
According to the Ganges Dolphin Conservation Action Plan 2010-2020, adult male dolphins are approximately 2 to 2.2 meters in length, while females are approximately 2.4 to 2.6 meters in length.
Adult Ganges dolphins usually weigh between 70 and 90 kg.
They are found in various Indian states including Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The Ganges dolphin is classified as 'Endangered' on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Reasons for decreasing dolphin population:
Dams built on rivers obstruct the water flow.
Pollution, including industrial and plastic waste.
Accumulation of silt in rivers.
The historical hunt for oil.
Government Conservation Efforts:
The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 included the Ganges dolphin in its First Schedule in 1986, with the aim of promoting their conservation and establishing wildlife sanctuaries.
Vikramshila Ganga Dolphin Sanctuary in Bihar was established under this Act.
The government prepared the 'Ganga Dolphin Conservation Action Plan 2010-2020' to assess the threats to the Ganges dolphin, including the impacts of river traffic and irrigation canals on their population.
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