Bangladesh to set up dolphin sanctuaries

Oct 31, 2011
Bangladesh will declare three river areas in its southwest as dolphin sanctuaries, wildlife officials said Monday, in a bid to protect the country's population of endangered freshwater cetaceans.

Bangladesh will declare three river areas in its southwest as dolphin sanctuaries, wildlife officials said Monday, in a bid to protect the country's population of endangered freshwater cetaceans.

The forestry department took the decision after studies found three areas in the UNESCO-listed Sundarbans mangrove forest, which straddles Bangladesh and India, were home to large populations of Irrawaddy and Ganges river .

"We have decided to declare river channels at Dhangmari, Chandpai and Dudhmukhi areas in the eastern Sundarbans as dolphin sanctuaries," Tapan Kumar Dey, senior official at the forest department, said.

"The channels and adjoining areas are home to hundreds of endangered Irrawady and Ganges river dolphins. Fishermen will be banned from fishing in the areas," he told AFP.

Tens of thousands of fishermen catch fish and shrimp in the channels. Although dolphins are not targeted directly, they often become entangled in the and die by the dozen every year.

A series of studies since 2002 by the Bangladesh Cetacean Diversity Project (BCDP) identified the three areas in the Sunderbans' which are key dolphin hotspots.

An earlier BCDP study found the world's largest population of Irrawaddy dolphins -- an estimated 6,000 -- living along Bangladesh's southern coast, including in the Sundarbans.

In other areas where the flat-faced dolphins are known to converge, such as the Mekong delta in South East Asia, populations have been estimated at less than 100.

Explore further: Chimps with higher-ranking moms do better in fights

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WWF calls for action to save Mekong dolphins

Aug 17, 2011

Conservation group WWF on Wednesday called for urgent action to prevent the extinction of freshwater dolphins in the Mekong River, including the creation of special conservation zones.

Dolphin conservationists save tigers in Bangladesh

Aug 05, 2011

A team of young Bangladeshi conservationists supported by the Conservation Leadership Program and Save Our Species have stopped a fire raging across an area of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, threatening species ...

Dolphin population at risk in Britain

May 16, 2007

A report from the Wildlife Trusts and an animal charity has found that commercial fishing in Britain is placing the regional dolphin population at risk.

Recommended for you

Starving honey bees lose self-control

2 hours ago

A study in the journal of the Royal Society Biology Letters has found that starving bees lose their self-control and act impulsively, choosing small immediate rewards over waiting for larger rewards.

Chimps with higher-ranking moms do better in fights

22 hours ago

For chimpanzees, just like humans, teasing, taunting and bullying are familiar parts of playground politics. An analysis of 12 years of observations of playground fights between young chimpanzees in East ...

Blind beetles show extraordinary signs of sight

Jan 28, 2015

University of Adelaide researchers have made a surprising discovery in the aquifers beneath the Western Australian desert, which challenges the traditional Darwinian view of evolution.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.