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 (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 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.