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Indus River dolphin

Indus dolphins at risk due to receding water, shortage of feed

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dolphinBy Jan Khaskheli
Rare dolphins have been found dead or injured in canals off the Indus River. Officials from the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) believe that receding river water and a shortage of feed might be the cause of these deaths.

“The number of dolphins in the Indus River has increased sufficiently overall, but persistent water shortage and decreasing amount of fish in the reserve are causing them to die,” Hussain Bakhsh Bhagat, Sindh Wildlife Conservator, told The News. The Indus River dolphin (Platanista minor), locally known as Bhulan, is one of the rarest mammals in the world, and the second most endangered freshwater river dolphin. During monsoon rains, it migrates upstream into the smaller tributaries and downstream to the main channels in the dry season, sometimes carrying its young on its back above the surface of the water. Very sensitive to its local environment, it cannot survive for long in other waters, as the governments of China, Switzerland and Japan discovered in the seventies when taking away rare mammals from the Indus River for research purposes. Read More »Indus dolphins at risk due to receding water, shortage of feed