Bihar: Survey of aquatic organisms including dolphin in Kosi river starts from Nepal border to Kursela in Katihar

Patna, February 18, 2021: Survey of aquatic organisms including dolphins, tortoises, birds, snakes, originating in Kosi river from Nepal border to Kursela in Katihar has started. The residents living in the villages along the Kosi river have been asked to submit an account of the number and types of the various species they have spotted in the past.

The Department of Forest and Environment Protection along with experts from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), has started the survey from the Nepali side of the border. Expert Dr Gopal Sharma of the ZSI is leading the team. A total of 13 experts are working on the survey.

On behalf of the Forest Department, five people, including the Forest Divisional Officer of Saharsa and Supaul, Sunil Kumar Sharan, Range Officer of Saharsa, Supaul, and Bhagalpur, and Vanpal are included in the survey.

The DFO of Saharsa and Supaul said that the survey starting from February 10 will continue till March 10. During the month-long survey, the number of dolphins, turtles, snakes in the Kosi river from the Nepal border to Kursela will be studied. An estimate will be made by counting the number of birds and other aquatic and wild animals on the banks of the river and in the river. The kind of food the aquatic animals would have liked will also be studied.
He said that the survey will be carried out by boat in the Kosi river more than 150 km from Virpur on Nepal border to Kursela. The number of dolphins, large and small, will be estimated. Whether the flow of water is suitable for dolphins or not will also be seen.
If the number of aquatic organisms is not decreasing, we will study whether the number of other aquatic organisms including dolphins, turtles, and birds is not decreasing. During the survey, the quality of the water of the Kosi river found in the Ganges at Kursela. After the survey, conservation of other rare aquatic organisms including dolphins will be planned, he added.

The liaison survey was done in other villages including Kalyanpur, Busbiti. The team working on the survey has so far contacted villagers in other villages including Kalabipur of Virpur, Busbiti of Supaul. Taking information about the number of aquatic organisms, the villagers have been made aware of their conservation.
The Forest department wanted to conduct a survey from the Virpur barrage itself, but the Nepal government did not allow it. The DFO said that it was not possible to conduct the survey from Veerpur Barrage without the permission of the Government of Nepal.

Allotment of five lakhs rupees has been allocated for the survey. The Kosi river has a large number of dolphins, turtles, and other aquatic animals and birds. A survey conducted several years ago found 55 numbers of galactic species such as dolphins. 29 small and large dolphins were seen at a distance of two km in 12 villages near the Fango Halt near the border of Saharsa-Khagaria district along with four species of turtle and 99 species of birds perched on the banks of river Kosi. At the same time, the sound of crocodiles and alligators was also heard.

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