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Nature Nuggets

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Rivers for Life

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We all have heard the phrase “River of Life”, well it’s much more than just a phrase. Rivers are an essential ecosystem on our planet, not only for humans but for all life forms on our planet.

There are 8 major river systems in India namely Indus, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Tapi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and Mahanadi River System. Do you know, under these 8 river systems in India, there are more than 400 rivers in total!? Yes, 400! Around 65% of Indian population’s needs are directly/indirectly dependent on these rivers!

It’s International Day of Actions for Rivers on March 14th and the world is celebrating the “Rights of Rivers” this year. Let us dive into the latest edition of ‘Nature Nuggets’ and discover the magic of free-flowing rivers.

Critical for our economy, rivers provide us with livelihood, food, freshwater and energy while playing an essential role in ensuring sediment flow and groundwater recharge. However, so many rivers across the globe today are getting degraded and dying because of climate injustice.

Our perennial rivers are becoming seasonal due to the pressures of population and development. Floods and droughts are occurring more frequently as rivers turn unruly during the monsoon, and vanish once the rainy season is over.

Only one-third of the world’s rivers remain free-flowing, and less than 10% of the world’s river basins are protected. It’s time we understand issues like fragmentation and diversions.

Click here to watch how the importance of restoring our free flowing rivers by eliminating dams.

Common Name: Ganges River Dolphin
Scientific Name: Platanista gangetica gangetica

Inhabiting freshwater only, Ganges river dolphins are essentially blind! Yes that’s true! These endangered species generally hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which when bounce off of fish/prey enables them to “see” an image in their mind.

This is called “echolocation”. Interesting, right?

Ganges river dolphins once lived in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. But the species is extinct from most of its early distribution ranges.

Ganges River Dolphins were declared as National Aquatic Animal of India in 2009. Do you know India has it’s own Dolphin Sanctuary located in Bihar? Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary is India’s only Dolphin Sanctuary located in the Baghalpur district of Bihar

Click here to watch the Ganges River Dolphins in action.

Time to check your Nature Quotient!

In which of the following Indian River systems are Ghariyal found?

  1. Tapi River system
  2. Ganga River System
  3. Kaveri River system
  4. Krishna River system

Answer to be revealed in our next edition!

Previous edition Answer: 24-30 months. Polar bear cubs stay with their mothers for around 2-2.5 years during which they learn everything about being a polar bear; from navigating the sea ice to hunting seals!

Congratulations to everyone who guessed it right!

This International Day of Actions for Rivers, take a green turn and celebrate the “rights of Rivers” with us.

Click here to watch “Guppy’s Journey” where Guppy, a fish residing in the waters of Ganga, is struggling to keep healthy in a habitat full of filth and dirt!

Want to know what you can do to help save our fresh water? Listen to what Sir David Attenborough has to say.

Participate in Play4thePlanet series to do your bit for the planet during this Earth Hour.

Pick a date and click here to register and play live quiz.

#earthhour #people4planet #speakup4nature #play4theplanet

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