Dolphin population rises in Chilika lake



The number of endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in Odisha's Chilika lake, Asia's largest saltwater lake, has increased by 4.6 percent to 152, an official said Tuesday.

Last year, the number of Irrawaddy dolphins sighted in the lake was 145.

During the latest survey, officials sighted 118 adult dolphins, 16 sub-adults and 18-calves and neonates, Ajit Patnaik, chief executive of Chilika Development Authority (CDA) told IANS.

Approximately 37.9 percent of the dolphins were sighted in the main Chilika lake with uniform distribution in the southern and central sectors, he said.

The latest annual population estimation survey was conducted Jan 7-8 but due to bad weather, the survey was suspended. It was again carried out Jan 18-19, he said.

Located about 110 km from here, Chilika lake has a unique combination of marine, brackish and fresh water ecosystems. Apart from Chilika, Irrawaddy dolphins are found in Songkhla lake in Thailand. While it is difficult to spot them in Thailand, the dolphins can be easily sighted in Chilika. - IANS