India’s first National Dolphin Research Centre

News Excerpt: 

Recently, India’s first centre for research on conserving the endangered Gangetic river dolphin, the National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC), located close to the Ganga River in Patna, was inaugurated.

About the National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC):

  • The NDRC, spanning 4,400 square metres on the premises of Patna University near the Ganga, offers a strategic location for researchers to closely observe dolphins in their natural habitat.
    • Bihar is home to around half of the estimated 3,000 Gangetic dolphins in India.
  • The NDRC aims to assist scientists and researchers in studying Gangetic dolphins comprehensively and strengthen ongoing dolphin conservation.
  • Researchers at the centre will focus on studying their food habits and adaptation to changing environments.
  • Additionally, the centre will play a vital role in training fishermen to avoid inadvertently harming dolphins during fishing activities.

About Gangetic River Dolphin:

  • The Gangetic River dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal. 
  • It is a Schedule I animal under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. 
  • It has been declared an Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Gangetic dolphins live in a zone where there is little or no current, helping them save energy. 
  • If they sense danger, they can dive into deep waters. These dolphins swim from the no-current zone to the edges to hunt for fish and return.
  • The Gangetic River dolphin is one of four freshwater dolphin species in the world. 
    • The other three are found in the Yangtze River in China (now extinct), the Indus River in Pakistan and the Amazon River in South America.
  • Dolphins are marine mammals. They must surface to breathe air and give birth to live young.
  • It is blind and finds its way and prey in river waters through echolocation.
    • Echolocation is the process in which an animal assesses its environment by emitting sounds and listening to echoes as the sound waves reflect off different objects.
  • Dolphins usually prefer water that is at least five to eight feet deep. 

Book A Free Counseling Session