Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has declared the Gangetic Dolphin as the state aquatic animal.
CM Yogi emphasised the need to maintain the purity of ponds and rivers. These dolphins are found in rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Chambal, Ghaghra, Rapti, and Gerua. The estimated population of Gangetic dolphins in Uttar Pradesh is estimated at around 2000.
“It’s important for both tourists and local residents to refrain from using plastic, as it harms our water and nature,” CM Yogi said.
Additionally, the CM highlighted the importance of training local residents on how to interact with wildlife.
He also proposed training individuals from villages connected to the Tiger Reserve as guides, aiming to create employment opportunities and raise awareness within the community.
Teams of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Forest Department have been recently counting dolphins with the help of GPS in Garh Ganga at Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh.
Regarding the ongoing dolphin census in Garh Ganga, DFO Sanjay Kumar Mall said, “This is a campaign named Meri Ganga Meri Dolphin 2023 campaign. Under this, counting of dolphins is being done in river Ganga from near Muzaffarpur Barrage to the entire Narora Barrage. In this, counting is being done through joint action by both WWF and Forest Department teams. There is a method of counting in it, such that there are two teams, each of which runs at a speed of 10 kilometres per hour, and there is a gap of 10 minutes between them. The entire team from Muzaffarpur to Narora Barrage will see how many dolphins dip in this interval.”
“That team watches the dolphin diving and notes down its GPS location, and then another team comes and notes down its GPS location. It shows that if it comes after an interval of 10 minutes then it is the same dolphin, if it does not come then it is another dolphin then the counting is done in the same way,” DFO Sanjay Kumar added.
The DFO also said that in the old data, there were 22 dolphins counted in 2015, 30 dolphins in 2016, 32 dolphins in 2017, 33 dolphins in 2018, 35 dolphins in 2019 and 41 dolphins in 2020.
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