Odisha Forest Department officials sighted 146 endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in Chilika Lake, which boasts of the highest single lagoon population of the aquatic mammal in the world.
- Scientific name: Orcaella Brevirostris.
- These dolphins have a bulging forehead, SHORT BEAK, and 12-19 teeth on each side of both jaws. They pop out their head out of the water to breathe, followed by its back; the tail is rarely seen.
- Habitats: Lakes, Rivers, Estuaries, and Coasts.
- Regions where they are found: Coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three river namely The Irrawaddy (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the Mekong.
- Population: The total population of these animals in the world is estimated to be less than 7,500. Of these, the highest — 6,400 — was reported from Bangladesh. The population in Chilika is considered to be the highest single lagoonal population.
- Threat: Dolphins had been under stress in Chilika due to unregulated boating by tourists as well as illegal prawn enclosures.
- IUCN Status: Endangered.
Source : The Hindu