New Delhi: A three-day programme for a headcount of river dolphins in the Ganges river will be carried out on October 5-7 in and around Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Wednesday.


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The programme is also aimed at spreading awareness about the endangered mammal."My Ganga, My Dolphin" is a joint effort between World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-India and the Uttar Pradesh forest department under the aegis of HSBC Bank.

The survey will count the number of dolphins across a 2,800-km stretch of the Ganges and its tributaries."It also aims to spread awareness among locals in and around the banks of the Ganges and to help in capacity building of stakeholders associated with the conservation of the mammal," Suresh Babu, director of river basins and water policy, WWF-India said.

According to WWF, the last such survey was conducted in 2005, which found around 600 river dolphins in the rivers of Uttar Pradesh. The findings of the new survey will be revealed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on October 7.

The Ganges river dolphins are one of the four living species of dolphin that reside in freshwater rivers and estuaries. However, their numbers have been dwindling due to rising pollution in the river, indiscriminate fishing and lean flow of water from dams and barrages.

There were 4,000-5,000 dolphins in Indian rivers in 1982. Their number is believed to be less than 1,800 now.


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