Today’s post is about the Ganges river dolphin (P. g. gangetica), seen in the India-Phillipines postage stamp below, along with the Butanding, or whale shark (Rhincodon typus).
Ganges river dolphin (P. g. gangetica)
The Ganges river dolphin is primarily found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers and their tributaries in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. The Ganges river dolphin has been recognized by the government of India as its National Aquatic Animal. Ancient Hindu texts like Valimiki’s Ramayan mention the dolphin or Shishumaar along with many species of animals and fish, as emerging in the Ganges from Lord Shiva’s locks!
This species has been categorized as being in danger of extinction. The immediate danger for the P. gangeticus is the decrease in river depth and width due to sand bars. Ministry of Environment and Forest declared 50 km of the Ganges river between Sultanganj and Kahlgaon in Bihar a dolphin sanctuary and named it the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS). This is the world’s first dolphin sanctuary for the conservation of the Gangetic Dolphin or P. Gangeticus. The locals refer to the dolphins as sons. Here is a video filmed in the sanctuary, for you to view:
Dolphins are friendly mammals. They are also a highly intelligent and evolved species. Don’t you think, we ought to protect their habitat by preventing water pollution? Cleaning the river Ganga will do a lot to preserve the habitat of our national aquatic animal.
Be a conservationist. Save the Ganga and the Gangetic dolphin!