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Dolphin boom in Odisha’s Chilika lake

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Dolphin boom in Odisha’s Chilika lake:


Odisha has released the final data on the dolphin census.

Key findings:

  • The population of dolphins in Chilika, India’s largest brackish water lake, and along the Odisha coast has doubled this year compared with last year.
  • Three species were recorded during the census, with 544 Irrawaddy, bottle-nose and humpback dolphins sighted this year, compared with 233 last year.
  • The rise in the Irrawaddy dolphin population in Chilika can be attributed to the eviction of illegal fish enclosures.

About Irrawaddy dolphins:

  • Found in coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three rivers: the Irrawaddy (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the Mekong (China).
  • They are ‘Endangered’ as per the IUCN Red List.

About Indo- Pacific Bottlenose dolphins:

  • Lives in the waters around India, northern Australia, South China, the Red Sea, and the eastern coast of Africa.
  • IUCN status: Near Threatened (Source: Wiki).

About Indian Ocean Humpback dolphins:

  • The Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin occurs within the Indian Ocean from South Africa to India.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorizes the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin as Endangered (Source: Wiki).
  • In India, Dolphins are endangered cetacean species, protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • Indian Humpback Dolphin is listed in Appendix I of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).


Prelims Link:

  1. About the habitats and IUCN status of various dolphins found in India.
  2. Their global distribution.
  3. Chilika lake.
  4. About CITES.

Sources: the Hindu.