965

Ganges River Dolphin

Asia

965

Platanista gangetica gangetica

Endangered

  • Overpopulation on its natural habitat
  • Polluted river containing toxic chemicals
  • River alterations which disrupts its normal habits
  • Shortage of food source
  • Accidental entanglement in fishing nets
  • Hunted for its meat and oil

The Ganges River Dolphin or South Asian River Dolphin is a freshwater-inhabiting aquatic mammal that can be found in the river systems of India and Bangladesh. Because its primary range is considered as one of the most densely populated habitats in the world, this exposes this dolphin species (which goes by its local name Susu) to a number of threatening factors to its survival.

Its preference to roam around slow-moving waters with plenty of fish stocks puts them in direct competition with humans for food. They become victims of by-catch as more and more humans continue to fish within the area – which either leaves them seriously wounded or entangled to death.

Pesticides and fertilizers being used within the vicinity also heavily pollutes the river systems and can directly kill dolphins and other water inhabitants. Dams and barrages also lead to habitat fragmentation, sound pollution, and disrupted dolphin habits.

The continued demand for dolphin meat and oil is also a driving factor for its dwindling population as these creatures are hunted indiscriminately and sold in the black market.