Featured Image Credit: Zahangir Alom / Marine Mammal Commission / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
By: Sarah Sharkey
A recent proposal that suggests straightening the Indus riverbed for a stretch of 180km may affect river dolphins in the area.
The proposal was set forth by a large landowner in Sukkur. The government has ordered a feasibility study to be done before any building proceeds.
Irrigation experts in the area believe that the modifications would negatively affect crop production in the region. The building of bank dykes on both banks of the river could prevent water from flowing in the best possible way.
The World Wildlife Foundation fears that the project would wideout the native Indus River dolphins that live in the area. A 2011 study estimated that around 918 dolphins live in the area which is a large increase from 175 in 1975. The area of the river is an important stronghold for the population of river dolphins. It is critical that their strongholds are protected, otherwise, they could easily be wiped out.
The project has not been officially approved yet by the government. However, if it was approved it could have serious negative consequences for the dolphins in the area.
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