National Dolphin Research Centre is likely to be set up on the banks of River Ganga in Patna University premises
With the population of the endangered Gangetic river dolphin decreasing and its habitat changing, there is finally good news that the much-awaited National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC), India’s and Asia’s first, would be a reality soon -- with October 5 being hinted at as the date for the groundbreaking ceremony.
After remaining in a limbo for nearly six years on one or the other pretext, the NDRC is likely to be set up next month on the banks of the Ganga River in the Patna University premises. It will play an important role in strengthening conservation efforts and research to save the endangered mammal.
“We are in final stages to commence work to set up the NDRC after some formalities are cleared between the department and Patna University,” Surendra Singh, Conservator of Forests and Additional Secretary, Department of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, told.
Echoing this, Santosh Tiwari, Chief Conservator of Forests-cum Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Conservation Fund, told : We are ready to set up the NDRC as soon as possible because it is a priority for us.”
The process to set up the NDRC started after the Patna University agreed nearly two months ago to provide the land. The university’s Syndicate had earlier stalled the proposal for over three years.
A well-reputed expert on Gangetic river dolphins, RK Sinha, who is currently Vice Chancellor of the Nalanda Open University in Patna, said the NDRC will prove a boon for research and conservation of dolphins.
Gangetic river dolphins fall under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act and have been declared an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Gangetic river dolphin is one of the four freshwater dolphin species in the world. The other three are found in the Yangtze river, the Indus river in Pakistan and the Amazon river.
The Gangetic river species -- found in India, Bangladesh and Nepal -- is almost completely blind. It finds its way and prey using echoes -- with sound being everything for them to navigate, feed, escape danger, find mates, breed, nurse babies and play.
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