Tuesday 11 June 2013

Rare creature discovered in deep jungle

Rare dolphins discovered deep in jungle
By Saeed Ahmed
(CNN) -- The Irrawaddy, one of the world's rarest species of freshwater dolphins, have been found in surprisingly large numbers deep in the waterlogged jungles of Bangladesh.Conservationists thought the Irrawaddy had dwindled in number to just a few hundred, but they have now counted almost 6,000 of them in the Sundarban mangrove forests and the adjacent waters of the Bay of Bengal.The forests of the Sundarban -- Bengali for "beautiful forest" -- lie at the delta of the Ganges and two other rivers on the Bay of Bengal. Until now, little mammal research had taken place in the area."Every time we had done a study to look into the population (elsewhere), they came out critically endangered," said Brian Smith of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, who led the study. "It was a very pleasant surprise and a shock to find that Bangladesh supports such a large number (of dolphins)."The discovery is noteworthy because scientists do not know how many Irrawaddy dolphins remain.The next step, they say, is to ensure the mammal's survival. One rare dolphin species -- the Yangtze River dolphin, or baiji -- is extinct. Another, the Ganges River dolphin, is critically endangered.

What else is waiting to be discovered in our jungles ?

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