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Biodiversity & Environment

Irrawaddy Dolphins in the Chilika Lake

  • 20 Jan 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

During the Dolphin Census in Chilika lake, direct sighting of 146 Irrawaddy dolphins has been reported.

  • The Census is being carried out using Hydrophone monitoring technique. A hydrophone is a microphone designed to be used underwater for recording or listening to underwater sound.

Irrawaddy dolphins

  • Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are found in coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three rivers: the Irrawaddy (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the Mekong (China).
  • They are ‘Endangered’ as per the IUCN Red List.
  • The total population of these aquatic mammals in the world is estimated to be less than 7,500.
    • More than 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins have been reported from Bangladesh.
    • Dolphin distribution in Chilika is considered to be the highest single lagoon population.

Chilika Lake

  • Chilika is Asia's largest and world's second-largest lagoon.
  • It lies on the east coast of India in the state of Odisha, separated from the mighty Bay of Bengal by a small strip of sand.
  • It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent and is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
  • In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • The major attraction at Chilika is Irrawaddy dolphins which are often spotted off Satpada Island.
  • The large Nalabana Island (Forest of Reeds) covering about 16 sq km in the lagoon area was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987.
  • Kalijai Temple is located on an island in the Chilika Lake.

Source: TH

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