UP's Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary to soon accommodate a dedicated dolphin reserve

UP's Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary to soon accommodate a dedicated dolphin reserve

Plans to develop the reserve on the lines of the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary in Bihar, are underway.

In a bid to boost ecotourism in Uttar Pradesh, a dedicated dolphin reserve is being planned in the Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary, which is one of the protected areas of the state. This proposal has also been considered because the population of this National Aquatic Animal has witnessed a steady growth in the region- from a total of 22 in 2015, there are 41 Ganges River Dolphins in the sanctuary at present.

WWF-India collaborates with UP govt to preserve Gangetic Dolphins

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Falling under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, Gangetic Dolphins have been declared an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. As per forest officials, WWF-India, which is already a part of the preservation process, will help the state government in studying the pools that are frequented by the dolphins.

Since 2012, the Forest Departments of five districts in UP, namely- Bijnor, Meerut, Hapur, Amroha and Bulandshahr and the WWF- India, have been involved in the conservation of Gangetic Dolphins.

"We are planning to develop the reserve on the lines of Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary near Bhagalpur in Bihar. The reserve will be made where the largest concentration of dolphins is found. Those deeper pools provide a conducive environment for the breeding of these dolphins", a senior official said.

Dolphin Conservation campaign initiated last year

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Last year on the occasion of World Dolphin Day (on October 5), the Director-General of 'Namami Gange', Rajiv Ranjan, had flagged off the 'My Ganga, My Dolphin' campaign at Bijnor. He had also inaugurated the introduction of the Dolphin Safari, to attract tourists in the region. Uttar Pradesh's Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, had later asked the DFOs to form a dedicated Dolphin Protection Force.

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