Biodiversity Fauna Mammals

Indus River Dolphin

Common Name:                                                                                                              

Indus River Dolphin / Indus Blind Dolphin

Scientific Name:

Platanista gangetica minor


Maximum 2.5 m (males are smaller than females)


70 – 110 kg


Endangered (EN)-IUCN Red List Status


Indus River System in Pakistan

Other names:

Bhulan, Susu, Blind dolphin, Indus Susu


Indus dolphins area unit mammals, not fish. They are available up to the surface for air, and as humans do, they furnish birth to measure young, that take advantage of their mothers’ milk. The Indus dolphin is one in all four dolphin species and taxon within the world that pay all their lives in fresh.


Found in silt laden murky water, the Indus dolphin once haunted nearly the complete lower Indus system. Currently, however, it’s confined to the vary highlighted on the map. Weight: The Indus dolphin weighs 70-110 weight unit (155 – 245 lbs).

Taken from WWF Pakistan

Taken from WWF Pakistan


The most size is two.5m (8.2 ft), with males smaller than females.


Middle gray-brown. Eyes: The dolphin is functionally blind and has no lens in its small eye.


Adults have between thirty and thirty six sharp teeth on either side of the arena. The teeth area unit terribly long, projected at the tip of the arena.


Stream dolphins possess a way longer snout (rostrum) than most oceanic dolphins, up to 1 fifth of their linear unit.


Dolphins breathe through a blowhole set on the highest of their heads.


The neck is slim and comparatively versatile, easing its movements within the sophisticated stream atmosphere.


The dolphin has terribly broad flippers to assist it stabilize at slow swimming speed.


The gestation for the dolphins is more or less ten months and it’s believed that the babies area unit born in spring. once a baby is born it’s regarding seventy cm long (almost the length of a Felis catus and therefore the mother helps it to the surface to breathe. Babies keep near their mother for the primary six months of their life.

 Life span:

Scientists assume that these dolphins will live for roughly twenty years.


The Indus dolphin grub crustaceans like prawns, further as fish like gobies, catfish and carp.

The habitat of these species is reduced to one-fifth of its historical range and the whole population is now found in a stretch of approximately 1,000 km of the Indus River, where the maximum population is present between Taunsa and Sukkur barrages.The habitat of the Indus River Dolphins is degraded primarily due to the shortage of water caused by its diversion to meet the needs in semi-arid country. Canal stranding, contamination of water due to industrial waste and agrochemicals, unsustainable fishing practices and net entanglements are significant threats to these species.

Agrochemical Waste Reduction:

The protection of the dolphin habitat is attained by addressing the issue of agrochemical waste in river water. The agricultural belt along the Indus River is famous mainly for cultivation of cotton crop. Due to better management practices introduced among farmers resulted in more than a 41% reduction in pesticide use; 55% less use of irrigation water; 61% reduction in phosphoric fertilizers and 32% reduction in urea fertilizers.




About the author

Farwa Binte Haider