P. gangetica gangetica lives in one of the most densely populated areas of the world. It is threatened primarily by the damming of rivers for irrigation and electricity generation, which degrades habitat, isolates populations and prevents seasonal migration. More than twenty barrages (low, gated diversion dams) and eighteen high dams have been constructed in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Megna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems alone since 1956, and in the northern Ganges tributaries at least three of six subpopulations that were isolated by barrages have recently disappeared. Many individuals swim downstream through barrage gates during the wet season, but are unable to return in the dry season due to strong downstream hydraulic forces at the gates. Further declines are expected as more barrages are planned and under construction throughout the species’ range. The proposed Ganges-Brahmaptura inter-link canal and dam project, expected to be completed in India in 2016, will involve additional dam construction and diversion of water from rivers inhabited by dolphins. This will undoubtedly result in further habitat loss and degradation, population fragmentation, and an increase in dolphin strandings. Pollution by fertilisers, pesticides and industrial and domestic effluents are responsible for the death of many fish and are likely to have a negative effect on dolphin populations. Other threats include deliberate killing of the animals for their meat or oil (used as catfish bait), and accidental entanglement in fishing nets. The latter is a severe problem for this species since its preferred habitat is often in the same location as primary fishing grounds.
This project will investigate by-catch levels of entangling gear types and the use of dolphin products for South Asian river dolphins in the north-eastern Sundarban mangrove forest and adjacent areas. It will increase awareness of fishing communities about freshwater dolphins and ongoing efforts to protect them in collaboration with students from local educational institutions
GWild will wear ONLY 12 outfits in 12 months for 12 threatened animals to fundraise for their conservation.
Involved in the conservation of the Ganges River Dolphin in west Nepal.
I am a student of Wildlife Ecology and currently involving in Dolphin conservation in Western Nepal.
I am the Assistant Programme Manager for South and Central Asia at the Zoological Society of London.
I am an EDGE Fellow working on South Asian river dolphins in Bangladesh.
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