Bhubaneswar, April 8: The number of dolphins at the Chilika, the largest brackish water lagoon in the country has increased by 25 as compared to last year’s enumeration.
The latest census revealed that the total number of dolphins stood at 188 as against the last year’s population of 163. This includes 162 Irrawaddy dolphins and 26 bottle-nose dolphins.
The Chilika laggon is the natural abode of highly endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. The total population of these mammals in the world is estimated to be less than 7500(Highest reported from Bangladesh). The population in Chilika is considered to be the largest single lagoonal population.
As per official statistics as many as 89 Irrawaddy dolphins were in the lake in 2003, which gradually increased to 134 in 2017. Irrawaddy dolphins are also a vulnerable species under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened animals.