What is the Dolphin Census? Why is it being conducted on the Odisha Coast? Find the details here

This year the Odisha coast impressively emerged as an ideal habitat for dolphins and saw a rise of 33% in their population.
Over 100 wildlife experts were conducting the headcount in a three-day exercise that began on 21st December 2022
Over 100 wildlife experts were conducting the headcount in a three-day exercise that began on 21st December 2022

The tremendously socially skilled, intelligent, agile, joyful, and playful Dolphins of Odisha's Bhitarkanika National Park and Gahirmatha marine sanctuary had their annual census, as per the officials today.

These mammals share numerous emotional similarities with humans and have an impressive spectrum of different species of dolphin.

This year the Odisha coast impressively emerged as an ideal habitat for dolphins and saw a rise of 33% in their population.

While over 100 wildlife experts were conducting the headcount in a three-day exercise that began on 21st December 2022

As per the Chilika Development, authorities, each team was equipped with binoculars, GPS sets, rangefinders, and data recording sheets. 

 

ALSO READ: Project Lion, Project Dolphin announced by PM Modi: Know everything about them!

How Was The Survey Conducted? 

  • The 'Transact Survey Method' was conducted worldwide.
  • 726 dolphins in total were sighted during the last census.
  • It was conducted in the five coastal divisions in Chilika lagoon.
  • Last census six new species of dolphins namely Irrawaddy, Bottlenose, Humpback, Striped, Finless, and Spinner were recorded.

How many species of dolphins are there?

Currently, there are 49 dolphin and porpoise species which are grouped into six families:

  • the oceanic dolphin family is by far the largest with 38 members; 
  • the porpoise family has seven members; 
  • and there are four river dolphin families, each containing just one species.

Where do Dolphins live?

  • Dolphins live in water bodies like seas and oceans and in some rivers too. 
  • While some dolphin species choose to live in coastal areas, others like shallow water.
  • The only dolphins that live in the Arctic and Antarctic are Orcas as their large size means that they have more protection against the harsh cold of the freezing seas. 
  • Dolphins favor tropical and temperate bodies as they are warm-blooded mammals and hence it is easier for them to regulate their body temperature in these environments.

    Though the classification is not a precise science it is possible that more information and discoveries may come to light. 

ALSO READ:2015 to 2022 likely to be eight warmest years, says WMO Report 

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FAQ

Which is the fastest Dolphin?

Dall’s porpoises are very speedy swimmers; they can reach up to 35mph (56kph).

Can dolphins live in freshwater?

River dolphins such as the Amazon River dolphin (boto) and South Asian river dolphins live their lives only in freshwater rivers and lakes, a long way from the ocean; they are sometimes known as the ‘true river dolphins’.

What are the differences between dolphins and porpoises?

Porpoises are smaller than dolphins; they are less than 2.5m (8ft) long.

Which is the biggest dolphin?

The biggest member of the dolphin family is the orca (killer whale).
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