UP to conduct second Dolphin census in October

Lucknow, Sep 29 (IANS) The World Wide Fund for Nature-India and the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday announced the second dolphin census in the state would begin from October 5 on the occasion of National Dolphin Day.

UP’s Chief Conservator of Forests Prashant Verma told IANS that the state forest department and WWF-India with support of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) would conduct the Dolphin (Gangetic) census from October 5-8, covering a 3,350 km stretch of the Ganga, Yamuna, Chambal, Ken, Betwa, Son, Sharda, Geruwa,Gahagra Gandak and Rapti rivers.

“Principal Secretary, Forests, Sanjeev Sharan will flag off the campaign from Kanpur. This census will contribute to strengthening the data and information on dolphin population from across the distribution range of the species in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

He said that threats to species and its habitat would also be identified and management strategy would be devised for “critical habitats” as conservation hotspots.

The exercise will also help in building capacity for adopting effective data collection skills and monitoring by the participating teams.

Verma told IANS that to estimate the population of Gangetic dolphins in Uttar Pradesh, a habitat evaluation will be conducted to record specific threats faced by the species.

“A team of over 200 people including officials from 21 forest divisions and 23 NGOs will actively participate in this survey. Each of the 21 teams will be coordinated by the divisional forest officials,” he said.

Training programmes in this connection had been organized by WWF-India at Katrniaghat and Allahabad during September 21-25.

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