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The Ganges river dolphin is an endangered species who primarily reside in the Ganges river in Bangladesh and India. Along with the similarly endangered Indus river dolphin (a different subspecies of the same species), it is the last remaining species of the Platanistidae family.

The Ganges River Dolphin transitioned from vulnerable to endangered between 1994-1996, and the population is currently confined to only 20% of their natural habitat. One of the main causes of habitat reduction is the building of dams through the Ganges River; “[A] population size reduction of more than 50% since 1957 is suspected, given that nearly all of the critical dam and barrage construction associated with the large-scale decline in the area of occupancy of both subspecies has occurred since that time” reports the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Additionally, there has been a great increase of pollution in the habitat, as well as the global introduction of monofilament gillnets, which are responsible for an increase in fishing related mortality rates for the species, which has a suspected annual mortality rate of 130-160, from a total estimated population of 1200-1800.

WWF reports that “a strategy and action plan for the Ganges river dolphin conservation has been formulated for Uttar Pradesh with the help of the State Forest Department. A network of partners for the Ganges River Dolphin Conservation in the country is also created”. This is a good starting place, as previous conservation efforts had reportedly been “completely ineffective". The species is legally protected in all range states, including dolphin reserves or sanctuaries such as The Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, Bihar, India, however, there is currently little support from the Indian government to enforce such measures.

That's where you come in.

Sign this petition to tell the Indian and Bengali governments to do more to help conserve this endangered species.

If not now, when? If not you, who?
― Hillel the Elder



Information & Photo Credit to the IUCN & WWF