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Experts moot Project Dolphin on the line of Project Tiger

Written by: Staff

Baripada, Apr 5 (UNI) Experts have mooted the idea of ''Project Dolphin'' on the lines of ''Project Tiger'' to give a fresh lease of life to the endangered dolphins.

''Freshwater and Wetlands programme'' of the WWF-India, New Delhi, Co-ordinator Sandeep Behera said there was a need to launch such a project with global support for providing the ''protective umbrella''to the dolphin species.

He said the Dolphins are poached for their fat and are gravely endangered. They have an extremely reduced eye, and no lens but the sensation of hearing is strongly developed in the animal for which it could hear 500 or more kilocycle waves.

Thus, the strong sense of hearing compensates for the loss of vision in the animal, Dr Behera said.

He along with a team of six Japanese scientists led by Prof.

Tamaki Ura of the University of Tokyo -cum- Director of the ''Underwater Technology Research Centre'' of Japan came here on a 3-day ''Acoustic survey and underwater behaviour of a Gangetic dolphin'' now sheltered in the Panchaputuli gorge in the downstream of Budhabalanga river, about 25 kms away from the Bay of Bengal at Chandipore coast.

An apparatus called ''hydrophone'' devised by the IIT, Delhi, could help us to record the ''click, click'' sound produced by the dolphin under water, the WWF-India experts said.

According to him a man could not hear such sound which has been recorded in a computer connected with the hydrophone.

This acoustic and underwater behaviour study, Dr Behera said would help in conducting research activity on the river dolphin. He did not rule out the possibility of the dolphin being a ''resident'' one born in the river.

It might have also migrated from the Ganga river via the sea route, he believed and observed the species could not survive in the saline water of the sea. There are an estimated 1800 Ganga river dolphins found in Ganga and its tributaries.


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