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The first organised census on Indus dolphins shall be carried out by the Punjab government along with WWF-India.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
A blind species that communicates through echo like bats do, Indus dolphins are one of the seven freshwater dolphins found across the world. Found only in India and Pakistan, the Indus dolphins are confined to only a 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in India’s Beas river in Punjab.
In India, a tiny population survives in this small stretch of the Beas river. Experts say they were also found in Sutlej decades back, however, river pollution is believed to be a major cause of their extinction from the habitat.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), construction of critical barrage is associated with the large-scale decline in the area of occupancy.
A flagship species, this dolphin is an indicator of the biological health of the aquatic and terrestrial environment adjoining the Indus River. It is the second most endangered freshwater dolphin species in the world, the first being the ‘functionally extinct’ Yangtze River dolphin.
IUCN Red List Status-Endangered (EN)
Source-The Times of India.