Abstract: Gangetic river dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) is an endangered species and is found mainly in three parts (tributary) of Brahmaputra river. Kulsi river is the southern tributary of the Brahmaputra river. The river passes mainly through Chaygaon area of Kamrup district of Assam and supports a significant population of Gangetic dolphins. An assessment of human attitudes particularly towards Gangetic dolphins is foremost for formulating appropriate conservation polices of this endangered species. Hence, this study was undertaken with aims to evaluate community attitude towards conservation of the Gangetic dolphins in the Kulsi River, Assam. The study was carried out selecting three villages in this area and data was collected through direct interviews using questionnaire composed of both open and closed ended questions and from field observations. From the study it was found that peoples of the study area have no problem with dolphins of this area. Rather they think dolphins help them in fishing (as expressed during discussions) and they use dolphin oil as medicine or fish bait or both. According to them dolphin mortality is not common in the area though most of them agreed that there is some short of threats to dolphins in the study area. They responded shortage of water is the major threat to dolphins of this area followed by sand mining. Though in last 10 years the number of fish and fisherman has been in declining trend in this area, dolphin population is in increasing trend which may be due to the management strategies undertaken by conservationists working in this area in last few years. In spite of most people being poor and illiterate, they had a good sense of environmental awareness and most of them wanted dolphins should be conserved for their ecological values. Most of them wanted areas in and around Kulsi river should be declared as a Protected Area and majority supported ecotourism as alternative source of livelihood.
Keywords: Community, attitudes, Gangetic, river, dolphin, fishermen, communities, threat, mortality, ecotourism, livlihood