Friday, January 16, 2015

On the river

Subhasis and team member search the river for dolphins. 
(Photo: JLewis, TDRF)
Today we joined Subhasis and the research team for a survey on the river to count dolphins along the first 30km of the Vikramshila Sanctuary (established for the Ganges river dolphin). To get to this location we took a train where the boat man will meet us. He has taken the boat upstream the night before.

This area of the Ganges has seen the loss of many species already (e.g. the endangered gharial crocodile and the river otter). We are lucky today because we spot a large group of turtles that are now rare, sunning themselves on the banks. And…DOLPHINS! Quite a few along this stretch in fact. This was one of the reasons the sanctuary (which extends 50km) was created. It was thought at the time that this stretch might be important for the Ganges river dolphin because there appeared to be more of them here compared to other stretches of the Ganges in India.
 

Ganges river, western point of the Vikramshila Dolphin Sanctuary (Photo: JLewis, TDRF)

Subhasis talks to student about his work with the river dolphin 
(Photo: JLewis, TDRF)
Also of interest on this survey, a new member of the team was present. While walking through a park the day before, a young college student approached us (Subhasis and I) to see what we were doing. At the time I was filming Subhasis speaking about his history in the area. The student was really interested in the work Subhasis was doing, so Subhasis decided to invite him along on the survey. An amazing opportunity for this student! And maybe a new conservationist will be born as a result!