Berhampur, Jan 29 (LocalWire) Rushikulya river mouth off Ganjam coast, which is famous for mass nesting of endangered Olive Ridlye turtles, is also the habitat of different species of dolphins.
Forest personnel have sighted congregation of several dolphins of different species in the sea from Purunabandh to Prayagi stretch during the recent dolphin census.
Dolphin census was carried out by the forest department in 54-km long coastal line off Ganjam coast on January 19.
As many as 29 dolphins of two species, including hump-back (15) and bottlenose (14) were sighted in the coast, said Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) AK Behera.
Out of these, 10 (two bottle-nose and eight hump-back) were found at Purunabandh to Prayagi stretch, the rookery for the Olive Ridley turtles, he said.
From Prayagi to Gopalpur area, 12 bottlenose dolphins were sighted, while seven hump-backs were found in the stretch from Markandi to Pati Sonepur area, Behera said.
Last year, 26 dolphins of different species were counted in the coastal area, including the stretch of Purunabandh to Prayagi, he said.
Marginal increase in number of dolphins during the census period might be due to migration of the aquatic animal, said the DFO.
“As the dolphins are sighted regularly in the stretch, we can say the Ganjam coast is also a potential site for different species of the sea mammal. We will submit a report to the government for conservation and protection of these dolphins in the area soon,” said Behera.
Purunabandh- Prayagi area, near Ganjam town is famous for the mass nesting site of millions of Olive Ridley turtles. Every year, during the last week of February and early March, millions of turtles climb up the shore and lay eggs by digging pits.