KAILALI: An indigenous species of dolphins found in the big rivers in Kailali district is on the verge of extinction due to natural and human causes.
The natural cause for the dwindling dolphin population is because of the gradual decrease in the water surface in the rivers due to sand deposition and erosion and excessive floods in the monsoon.
The number of dolphins seen in their hundreds in the four major rivers that flow through the district has decreased and only a few of them are seen these days after the start of the monsoon, said Bhojraj Shrestha, who is involved in dolphin conservation.
Dolphins are found in Kanda, Patharaiya, Kandra and Mohana rivers. According to Shrestha, the 22-kolometre stretch west of Bardawaghat to Himmatpur area is the major habitat for dolphins.
Deep Bahadur Singh, a local of Bhajano-4 said dolphins can be seen in the rivers in the rainy season when the water surface in the rivers increases.
However, the number of dolphins has been dwindling each year as people use pesticides to kill fish, the water flow in the rivers recedes due to the sand deposition and other such human activities.
Wildlife conservationists say though local level efforts have been initiated for conserving this rare species of dolphins, it is not enough and it is high time the government augments local efforts to save the dolphins that are under threat.