Polluted rivers, dying marine life. Shrinking forests, decreasing tigers. The heart-wrenching figures are all too depressing. But amid all the dismal news on the wildlife front, one tiny piece of news has come as a breath of fresh air: the number of dolphins in the Ganga and its tributaries in the upper Ganga system has increased from 600 in 2005 to 671 this year. This also indicates that the water in which the dolphins habitat is clean and worth being their home. This comes in tow of the distressing findings of a recent study conducted by the National Cancer Registry Programme that cancer is common in the parts where the Ganga flows.
The dolphin census, a first-of-its-kind initiative, was part of WWF-India’s initiative ‘My Ganga, My Dolphin’. Intended to map the Ganges river dolphin throughout the 2,800-km stretch of the Ganges and its tributaries (Yamuna, Som, Ken, Betwa, Ghagra and Geruwa), it was done in partnership with the Uttar Pradesh forest department. The campaign also endeavours to raise awareness among local communities in and around the banks of the Ganga about the presence
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