Our mission is to foster conservation of biodiversity in Northeast India through research, environmental education, capacity building and advocacy for legal and policy reform to usher a new era of ecological security.
Home About Us Objectives Programmes Events News Contact Us



Species of the Month - Dolphin

The Gangetic dolphin / Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) is an endangered species of river dolphin in the world. The species is found in Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli River system of India-Nepal and Bangladesh. It is estimated that there are only 2000 individuals of the species is surviving currently. The species is listed as a Schedule-I Species in India. It was declared as National Aquatic Animal by Govt of India in 2009 and State Aquatic Animal by Govt of Assam in 2008.

The Brahmaputra river system in Assam is one of the major habitats of this species in the world. Due to less pollution and no water development project in mainstream, Brahmaputra river system has been recognized as one of its last safe refuges by the concerned scientific community. Although once abundant, the species distribution has been declining very rapidly over last two decades in Assam and currently its distribution is limited only to Kulsi River (Kamrup district), Subansiri River (Lakhimpur district) and Brahmaputra mainstream, from Assam-Arunachal border to India-Bangladesh border. According to the 2008 survey in this whole distribution range by Aaranyak, there are only about 300 dolphins in Assam.

Poaching for oil, accidental killing through gill nets, habitat degradation, overfishing are the major causes for the declining of the population in Assam. On the otherhand, construction of large dams has been identified as the major potential threat for the species in future.

For the long term conservation of the species in Assam, Aaranyak through its Gangetic Dolphin Research and Conservation Initiative has been working since 2005 in 4 different ways (a) research and monitoring, (b) community engagement and awareness activities, (c) alternate livelihood and (d) policy reforms.

If you are interested for the conservation of this endangered species of River Dolphin in Brahmaputra or want to know more about the species, please contact with the following:

Dr. Abdul Wakid Head, Gangetic Dolphin Research and Conservation Initiative, Aaranyak
Phone: 0361-2228418 (O), 94350-33226 (M)
Email: wakid@aaranyak.org