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.

  • fishing net.

  • 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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