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First Organized Census of Indus Dolphins in Punjab

Published on May 07, 2018
The first-ever census of the Indus Dolphins is being conducted by the Punjab Government in collaboration with the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) India.

  • The main aim behind the exercise is to establish the accurate population of the dolphins, in order to plan the conservation of the species accordingly. 
  • It is the first organised census and would be conducted over a period of five days.
  • It will be conducted by two joint teams of Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab and WWF-India. 
  • Indus Dolphins are one of the rarest mammals found only in India and Pakistan. It is the National mammal of Pakistan.
  • The Indus dolphins are confined to only a 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in India’s Beas river in Punjab. 
  • Dolphins are a key indicator of river health- if a river is healthy the dolphins will be there.
  • Indus Dolphin was also found in Sutlej decades back, but river pollution has caused its extinction in Sutlej.
  • Indus dolphins are one of the seven freshwater dolphins found across the world.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) suspects the population size of the Indus river dolphins has reduced by more than 50% since 1944.
  • Their numbers have declined dramatically after construction of irrigation system.
  • It listed by the IUCN as endangered on its Red List of Threatened Species.

Expected Questions

1. Which state has conducted the first ever census of the Indus Dolphins?
- Punjab

2. What is the full form of IUCN?
- International Union for Conservation of Nature

3. Where are the headquarters of IUCN located?
- Switzerland

4. Which list of the IUCN provides a list of threatened species?
- Red List

5. Which Convention provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation of wetlands and their resources?
- Ramsar Convention

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