The population of endangered dolphins has further declined in Odisha”s Bhitarkanika National Park and nearby Gahirmatha seawaters, officials said.
The latest headcount of dolphins, a report of which was released on Monday, spotted only 62 dolphins, a big drop from the last years census of these aquatic species.
Last year the census teams had spotted 126 dolphins in the Bhitarkanika National Park and nearby water bodies.
The forest officials spotted only 62 dolphins during the census conducted this year on January 19, while last year it was 126, Deputy Conservator of Forest (Wildlife Management) Pradipta Kumar Sahoo said.
The drop in the population of dolphins, accorded endangered status in the International Union for the Conservation of Natures (IUCN) Red List, has apparently assumed alarming proportion, officials said.
In the 2018 census, 307 dolphins were spotted. It dropped to 126 in 2019 and this year only 62 were spotted, he said.
The deputy conservator of forest (wildlife management) said factors leading to the drop in the number of dolphins in Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha are being studied.