Gangetic River Dolphin: City Animal of Guwahati (Download PDF)

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Guwahati of Assam state becomes first city in the country which has its own city animal Gangetic River dolphin after Kamrup metropolitan district administration declared its official mascot.

Gangetic River Dolphin
  • Gangetic River Dolphin known as ‘Sihu’ locally in Guwahati and it is on the verge of extinction.
  • In the Brahmaputra River less than 2,000 Gangetic river dolphins remain along Guwahati.


To decide the ‘city animal’ the Kamrup metropolitan district administration had organized online and off-line voting process for the three-month among three protected animals and they are:

  1. Gangetic River Dolphin (Sihu)
  2. Greater Adjutant Stork (Hargila)
  3. Black Softshell Turtle (Bor Kaso)
  • District administration, Assam forest department, Assam state biodiversity bard and Help Earth (NGO) had jointly organized the voting process.
  • These three animals are on the verge of disappearance.
  • And Gangetic River dolphin was selected with highest 24247 votes out of 60003 total votes.
  • Greater Adjutant Stork got 18454 votes and Black Soft-shell Turtle got 17302 votes.
  • Ganges River dolphin has also been officially declared as National Aquatic Animal of India.

About Gangetic River Dolpin

  • The Gangetic Dolpin is also recognized as ‘Tigers of Ganga’ because it enjoys the place in Ganga that is equal to that of the tiger in the forest.
  • Platanista gangetica is its scientific name.
  • Habitat:
  • Dolphin lives in freshwater and prefers deep waters in and around the confluence of two or more rivers.
  • Share their habitat with fresh water turtles like crocodiles and wetland birds.
  • Characteristic features:
  • It has a strong and flexible body with large flippers.
  • It has a low trilateral dorsal fin.
  • Its weighs is up to 150 kg.
  • Usually Males are smaller than females.
  • Gangetic Dolpin is generally blind and use ultrasonic sound to catch their target.
  • Protection status:
  • It is listed as ‘endangered’ by IUCN.
  • It is also located in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Threats:
  • Entanglement in fishing nets, hunting for their oil and meat, poisoning of water supply of river from manufacturing and agricultural chemicals.
  • They are facing most important threat from construction of dams with the upper course of their habitable rivers.
  • It creates the separation of inhabitants and has a sharp gene pool in which dolphins can breed.
  • Conservation Programme:
  • Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Programme has been launched by Union Government (MoEFCC) in 1997 to build a scientific database of their population status and also learning their habitat excellence of the dolphins՚ distribution range.

- Published/Last Modified on: June 8, 2016

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