Saturday, January 27, 2007

Spinner dolphin's specie is at risk!

A carcass of a spinner dolphin was found washed ashore near Kottivakkam beach on Sunday.
According to K. Venkatraman, Member-Secretary of National Biodiversity Authority of India, such dolphins were commonly sighted off the Chennai coast a decade ago. Its population in the wild is rapidly decreasing.

Mr. Venkatraman said such dolphins were slender with a thin, long beak. They have a distinct stripe connecting the long, pointed flippers to the eyes.

They are also known as long-snouted spinner dolphins. The dolphin species is called spinner because it can make seven spins in water.

An adult may be 1.3 to 2.1 metres long and weigh up to 75 kg. They are found in tropical and sub-tropical oceans and feed on fishes and squids. The most significant threat to this dolphin species is fishing nets. Also, there is a great demand for dolphin meat world over. However, this species is protected under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).

Four varieties

There are four varieties of long-snouted dolphins found in the wild.

Mr. Venkatraman said the government should initiate action for a study on the dwindling dolphin species and scientists should research the dolphin's habitat and behavioural pattern.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"