Nepal's nature
Animals in Nepal
Nepal Nature
Nepal's Ganges River dolphins
Ganges River dolphins
Research paper:
Fishing communities and their potential interaction with river dolphin in Nepal

Conservation of the last remaining Ganges River dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica) in Nepal will require robust population estimates and better information on suitable habitat characteristics. To gain a better understanding of these parameters, we conducted boatbased surveys in the 3 major river systems (Karnali, Sapta Koshi, and Narayani) of Nepal.

We recorded covariates at high spatial resolution and utilized these data to inform occurrence and abundance models. We allowed for detection bias by applying occupancy and N-mixture models that account for imperfect and heterogeneous detection. Occupancy results indicate that dolphin site use varies among the different river systems, across 2 seasons, and increases with river depth. River effects received nearly 100% of the model support and had the strongest influence on dolphin occurrence and abundance.

The seasonal influence on dolphin occurrence in the systems (Σωi = 0.997) revealed that occupancy probabilities were heightened during the pre-monsoon season. Deep pool habitat was also identified as a predictor of dolphin habitat use, which accounted for 41.02% of all dolphin sightings occurring in this habitat.

Although estimates vary depending on season, we estimate that there are between 37 and 42 (95% CI: 28 to 52) Ganges River dolphins distributed in the rivers of Nepal.

Results suggest that seasonality and each specific river affect dolphins and their habitat in Nepal; we strongly recommend site and season-specific conservation actions.

Further research on the integration of additional and alternative abundance techniques, behavioral studies, and pursuit of a conservation genetics approach are all important steps in the management of this endangered species.

Original publication

Paudel S, Levesque JC, Saavedra C, Pita C, Pal P. (2016) Characterization of the artisanal fishing communities in Nepal and potential implications for the conservation and management of Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) PeerJ 4:e1563 DOI 10.7717/peerj.1563

Author: Text Shambhu Paudel
Source:Environmental Graduates in Himalaya (EGH), RESOURCES HIMALAYA FOUNDATION, January 2016
RAOnline Downloads
Source Environmental Graduates in Himalaya (EGH)
Characterization of the artisanal fishing communities in Nepal and potential implications for
the conservation and management of Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica)
Research paper
2.2 MB PDF-File
PDF Download
Source WWF Nepal
Status, Distribution and Conservation Threats of Ganges River Dolphin in Karnali River, Nepal
The research conducted in the Karnali River is the first for aquatic fauna that the Freshwater Program at WWF Nepal has undertaken since its inception in October 2004.
700 KB PDF-File
PDF Download
more information
Nepal: More on Nature
Rivers in Central Nepal
External link
Environmental Graduates in Himalaya (EGH)
South Asia Representative for World Cetacean Alliance
WWF Nepal
Kathmandu Forestry College
RAOnline Home