Annual Dolphin Census: Dip in Chilika lake’s dolphin population

What is the News?

The Odisha Government has conducted the Annual Dolphin Census recently.

The Census was carried out in Chilika lake, Rajnagar Mangrove wildlife division , Baleswar wildlife division, Bhadrak wildlife division, Puri wildlife division and Berhampur forest division. 

What are the key findings from the Annual Dolphin Census?

The Dolphin population recorded along Odisha’s coast and in its water bodies has increased overall. It has gone up from 544 in 2021 to 726 in 2022.

A total of six species of dolphins — Irrawaddy, bottlenose, humpback, striped, finless and Spinner dolphins have been found in this census.

The increase in the dolphin population in Odisha is largely due to high sightings in the Mangrove Wildlife Division of the Rajnagar jurisdiction, where 540 dolphins were found in 2022 compared with 342 in 2021.

However, the Chilika lake which is a major tourist attraction for its Irrawaddy dolphins saw the number of Irrawaddy Dolphins drop sharply from 162 in 2021 to 151 in 2022.

In the remaining four Wildlife Divisions — Puri, Berhampur, Bhadrak and Balasore — dolphin sightings were negligible.

Note:

Striped Dolphin: It ​​is an extensively studied dolphin, found in temperate and tropical waters of all the world’s oceans. IUCN Status: Least Concern.

Striped Dolphin: It is a small dolphin found in offshore tropical waters around the world. It is famous for its acrobatic displays, in which it rotates around its longitudinal axis as it leaps through the air. IUCN Status: Least Concern.

Source: This post is based on an article “Dip in Chilika lake’s dolphin population” published in The Hindu on 1st April 2022.

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