BERHAMPUR: Ganjam coast in Odisha which is famous for the mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles has also been found to be a potential habitat for different species of dolphins.
As many as 24 dolphins of two different species were sighted by wildlife personnel during their first ever survey of the sea mammal in the 54-km long Ganjam coast on Sunday.
While 22 bottlenose dolphins were sighted on coast from Boxipalli to Markandi area, two humpback dolphins were spotted near Bahuda river mouth near Pati Sonepur in the district, divisional forest officer (DFO), Berhampur, S S Mishra said today.
Though forest officials had sighted at least seven bottlenose dolphins near river Rushikulya mouth near Gokharakuda some months ago, the enumerating team could not find any such sea animal during their six-hour exercise in the area, DFO said.
They might have migrated to Baxipalli area during the survey period, he stated.
He said the entire coastal area was divided into four sectors to count the dolphins. Each team consisted of five persons. The survey was conducted on the basis of the line-transect method, which is followed across the world to count the population of aquatic mammals, sources said.
With sighting of such numbers of dolphins, we can assume the Ganjam coast is also potential site for the different species of the sea mammal, the DFO added.
Purunabandh-Gokharakuda areas, near Ganjam town on the shoreline in Ganjam district, are 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 the shore and lay eggs by digging the pits. The river Rushikulya mouth is known as the second largest mass nesting site for the Olive Ridleys after famous Gahiramatha in Kendrapada district.