22 dolphins recorded in Kailali
By Our Correspondent
Dhangadhi, Sept. 20:Despite the diminishing water level in the Mohana and other rivers of Kailali district, a total of 22 dolphins were recorded in this far western district this year.
The Dolphin Census carried out at the end of the monsoon season has recorded 22 dolphins, including 20 mature ones and two calves.
The census had begun in mid September in the Mohana and other rivers of the district.
A team comprising species specialist Dr. Mukesh Kumar Chalise, young researcher Dhirendra Bahadur Chand and local conservationists had conducted the census of the aquatic mammal in 15 rivers, including the Mohana, Karnali Patharaiya, Kada, Kandra and the Gauri Khola.
According to Dr. Chalise, the record was prepared on the basis of the dolphins which appeared on the banks of the 15 rivers from 7 am to 10 am, the most appropriate time to observe the dolphins.
The dolphin’s population was confirmed on the basis of the dolphins which were seen during this time, he added.
“Recording 22 dolphins even at the end of monsoon is quite good,” said Dr. Chalise.
According to him, last year when the census was carried out in mid-monsoon, 63 dolphins were seen in the rivers.
“Though the water level in the rivers has decreased, a significant number of dolphins have been recorded,” he added.
The highest number of dolphins was recorded in the Mohana River, said Bijay Raj Shrestha, a local conservationist.
During this monsoon, a significant number of dolphins have arrived in the district, said Shrestha.
However, natural imbalance and human behaviour have posed a challenge to the conservation of the dolphin. The motorboats operating in these rives has also affected the habitant of the dolphins, said Shrestha.
Karnali River and its tributaries in the district are the prime habitat of the most endangered species of the Gangetica dolphin, he added.
He said the dolphins were pushed towards the tributaries from the major rivers by the strong water current in the rivers during the monsoon floods, said Dr. Chalise.
Dolphins live in low current where they get adequate food, that is, fish. This is what makes the major rivers inappropriate for dolphins during the monsoon.
This is why more dolphins are found in the tributaries than in the major rivers, Chalise added.