(English) Dolphin’s number goes double


KATHMANDU, Nepal–The number of Dolphin has gone up double over two decades, thanks to the conservation efforts initiated at community levels. Its number has gone up from 14 in 1993 to 28 in 2014 in the three major rivers in the country, according to a recent survey.

Saptakoshi, Karnali and Narayani river systems have recorded the presence of 14, 12 and 2 of these freshwater mammals respectively.

The first ever survey on dolphins found that the seven-kilometre stretch extending downstream from Koshi Barrage towards Nepal-India border recorded the highest density of dolphins in the country, followed by Karnali and Narayani.

However, the Mahakali River in the Far-Western region, where dolphins were seen in the previous studies, failed to record its presence.

In 1993, BD Smith and his team of researchers had conducted a study on the status of Ganges River dolphins in Nepal’s rivers and recorded a total of 14, with Karnali showing the highest number at 7, followed by Saptakoshi and Narayani at 5 and 2 respectively.

Before Smith’s study, several studies on dolphins were carried out in the country but focused on single rivers than finding the total number of the freshwater river dolphins throughout the country.

According to Shambhu Paudel, assistant professor at the Kathmandu Forestry College, who conducted the one-year survey between August 2013 and July 2014, the studies on Dolphins till now were based on direct count and not included the missing animals in the river systems.

“And this was the first time, we used both direct count and missing animals to bring their total number,” Paudel was quoted by ekantipur.

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