OVERFISHING and environmental degradation have pushed the endangered
blind dolphin in the Indus river to the
brink of extinction. Water pollution
and construction of dams has shrunk
the habitat of the dolphins, which once
stretched over 2,800 km of the river,
into a 170 km section of the river
between the Sukkur and Guddu dams.
Although authorities have declared this
stretch as a dolphin reserve, wildlife
conservationists are afraid that it may
not be long before the blind dolphin
is driven to extinction. Apart from
pollution in the river, a greater threat
to their lives lies in the ignorance of
local fisherfolk who believe that oil
from the dolphins increases their
According to Najam Khursheed, a conservationist, there are only around 400 blind dolphins all over the world and all of them are found in the Indus river. Though the pinkish-grey to dark- grey dolphins have a tiny vestigial eye, which helps them perceive light, they are believed to rely mainly on an echolocation system in the river.
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