Ganges River Dolphin Populations Decline, Face New Threats From Oil Exploration

ganges river dolphin image

1894 engraving of Ganges River dolphin: Wikipedia

The Irrawaddy dolphin may be doing better than previously thought, but another of South Asia's dolphins isn't doing so well at all. Mongabay points out that a new report by the IUCN says that the Ganges River dolphin, whose range also includes the Brahmaputra River, faces multiple threats and may face extinction in there unless critical habitat is protected:Of an estimated total population of 2,000, some 240-300 live in the Brahmaputra (in northeast India, flowing into Bangladesh, for those not up on South Asian geography).

Though habitat loss and degradation, as well as by-catch by fishermen, is a threat to these dolphin throughout their range, in the Brahmaputra the Ganges dolphin also faces threats from dams and oil exploration.

Oil India Ltd has proposed an oil exploration plan that would involve seismic surveying using explosives and airguns along the bed of the Brahmaputra.

More: Protection of Endangered Ganges River Dolphin in Brahmaputra, Assam,India (PDF)

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