At last count, the rivers of Assam and Uttar Pradesh respectively had 962 and 1,275 Gangetic dolphins, India’s national aquatic dolphin. These numbers were tabled in Parliament recently by Minister of State for Environment and Forest Babul Supriyo.
In addition to the species being India’s national aquatic animal, the Gangetic dolphin has been notified by the Assam government as the state aquatic animal, too. Silting and sand lifting from rivers in Assam has been stopped to maintain its population.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the Gangetic dolphin as an endangered species in India.
According to the WWF, the main threat to the Gangetic dolphin is the creation of dams and irrigation projects. The ministry reply said the Conservation Action Plan for the Gangetic Dolphin, 2010-2020, identified threats to these dolphins that include the impact of river traffic, construction of irrigation canals and depletion of their prey-base.
Source: The Indian Express
Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Environment & Biodiversity