Conservationists striving to conserve the Endangered (IUCN) Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica) have recently been awarded a significant funding boost from the Darwin Initiative (UK Government Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs). The three-year project, a collaboration between the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Aaranyak will be led by in-country Project Leader Dr Wakid Abdul, Programme Head of Gangetic Dolphin Research and Conservation Programme.
“One of the major credits of this success goes to CLP since the CLP’s wonderful support has helped us to conserve the species for last 5 years” says Wakid. “CLP has enabled us to develop the conservation status of this species from almost zero to an international level which has attracted the attention of large international conservation organizations such as the Zoological Society of London and strong donor agencies such as Darwin.”
Wakid has been a CLP alumnus since 2004 when he received his first award to identify the threats to the Gangetic river dolphin in each microhabitat in the Brahmaputra drainage system within Assam. For the Follow-up award, Wakid and his team studied the dolphin’s behavioural response to sand mining and helped to develop an alternative to dolphin oil which will be developed to reduce dolphin poaching in Subansiri River. In 2008, the team was awarded a Conservation Leadership Award to develop a management action plan to reduce the mortality of dolphins from fishing and poaching.
Reports for Wakid’s CLP-funded work can be accessed via the CLP website.
Future Conservationist Award: Conservation of Gangetic dolphin in Brahmaputra river system, India.
Follow-up Award: Ecology and conservation of residential populations of Gangetic dolphin in Brahmaputra river system, India.
Visit the CLP website at: www.conservationleadershipprogramme.org