The Ganges River basins support more than 10% of the world’s human population. The
concentration of human activities coupled with the poor economic status of these communities
has resulted in a steady degradation of the Ganges with industrial, agricultural, and domestic
pollution and the modification of flow regimes by dams, barrages, and embankments. The
resulting threats to the aquatic biodiversity populations include interrupted movements and
environmental degradation; habitat degradation from gravel mining; and pollution from human
sewage and persistent chemicals and trace metals.
Ravine ecosystems are areas of continuous change. As a result of interplay of environmental
factors, the development paradigm of that time, the lack of resources to enforce the laws, the
ignorance about the degree of harmful effects of some of the activities led to the ecological
parameters to deteriorate further. Therefore, it is imperative to keep a close eye on the habitat
parameters and take corrective steps as and when required.
The ultimate goal of the Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation is to achieve the NMCG (National
Mission for Clean Ganga) long term vision for Ganga River Conservation, in which viable
populations of all endemic and endangered aquatic species occupy their full historical range
and fulfill their role in maintaining the integrity of the Ganga River ecosystems.
The proximate goal is to ensure that by 2020, a significant reduction of threats to the
biodiversity populations of River Ganga that are either currently endangered, or are likely to
become endangered in the foreseeable future, is achieved.
In determining whether NMCG should concentrate on a few individual species or encompass
the entire biodiversity of Ganga, the array and number of conservation challenges was taken
into consideration, and then conservation of few identified endemic and endangered species
course is chosen. Although individual circumstances may vary, however the threats are similar
across many species and populations, and successful resolutions for the conservation of one
population can often be applied to others.
Priority species identified for conservation are:
Snow trout (Schizothorax richardsonii), Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora), Indian Major Carps
(IMC): Four species (Labeo rohita, L. calbasu, Catla catla, Cirrhinus mrigala).
Gharial and Gangetic Turtle sp:
River Dolphins and Otters
Indian Skimmer and Saras