After a gap of 30 years, the ‘critically endangered’ Gangetic Dolphins have been reportedly spotted in the ghats of Kolkata thanks to the coronavirus lockdown. Here is what we know. By Amitha Ameen

 

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According to news reports, the pollution levels of River Hooghly have reduced and water quality has improved substantially. This is the main reason why these South Asian River Dolphins or Gangetic Dolphins have been spotted.

These mammals, the only freshwater dolphins in the world, can usually be found about 40 kilometres away from the city of Kolkata. Thanks to the decrease in water pollution levels, these mammals are now being spotted in the different ghats of the City of Joy.

Globally there are only about 1,200 to 1,800 dolphins in the world. Apart from pollution, studies have shown that one of the biggest threats to Gangetic Dolphins is the increase in human interference and vehicular movement.

 

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Other reasons include lack of fish for the dolphins and entanglement in fishing nets that eventually led to the decrease in population and sightings of the dolphins.

During these bleak times, the rare sighting of these animals has brought happiness to the city’s residents.

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