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ESR 45:269-282 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01133

Home range and movements of Amazon river dolphins Inia geoffrensis in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins

Federico Mosquera-Guerra1,2,*, Fernando Trujillo1, Marcelo Oliveira-da-Costa3, Miriam Marmontel4, Paul André Van Damme5, Nicole Franco1, Leslie Córdova5, Elizabeth Campbell6,7,8, Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto6,7,8, José Luis Mena9, Jeffrey C. Mangel6,7,8, José Saulo Usma Oviedo3, Juan D. Carvajal-Castro10,11, Hugo Mantilla-Meluk12,13, Dolors Armenteras-Pascual2

1Fundación Omacha, 111211 Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
2Grupo de Ecología del Paisaje y Modelación de Ecosistemas-ECOLMOD, Departamento de Biología, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 111321 Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
3World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
4Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá, 69.553-225 Tefé (AM), Brazil
5Faunagua, 31001 Sacaba-Cochabamba, Bolivia
6ProDelphinus, 15074 Lima, Peru
7School of BioSciences, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, UK
8Carrera de Biología Marina, Universidad Cientifíca del Sur, 15067 Lima, Peru
9Museo de Historia Natural Vera Alleman Haeghebaert, Universidad Ricardo Palma, 1801 Lima, Peru
10Grupo de Investigación en Evolución, Ecología y Conservación (EECO), Programa de Biología, Universidad del Quindío, 630004 Armenia, Colombia
11Department of Biological Sciences, St. John’s University, 11366 Queens, NY, USA
12Grupo de Investigación en Desarrollo y Estudio del Recurso Hídrico y el Ambiente (CIDERA), Programa de Biología, Universidad del Quindío, 630004 Armenia, Colombia
13Centro de Estudios de Alta Montaña, Universidad del Quindío, 630004 Armenia, Colombia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Studying the variables that describe the spatial ecology of threatened species allows us to identify and prioritize areas that are critical for species conservation. To estimate the home range and core area of the Endangered (EN) Amazon river dolphin Inia geoffrensis, 23 individuals (6♀, 17♂) were tagged during the rising water period in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins between 2017 and 2018. The satellite tracking period ranged from 24 to 336 d (mean ± SE = 107 ± 15.7 d), and river dolphin movements ranged from 7.5 to 298 km (58 ± 13.4 km). Kernel density estimates were used to determine minimum home ranges at 95% (K95 = 6.2 to 233.9 km2; mean = 59 ± 13.5 km2) and core areas at 50% (K50 = 0.6 to 54.9 km2; mean = 9 ± 2.6 km2). Protected areas accounted for 45% of the K50 estimated core area. We observed dolphin individuals crossing country borders between Colombia and Peru in the Amazon basin, and between Colombia and Venezuela in the Orinoco basin. Satellite tracking allowed us to determine the different uses of riverine habitat types: main rivers (channels and bays, 52% of recorded locations), confluences (32%), lagoons (9.6%), and tributaries (6.2%). Satellite monitoring allowed us to better understand the ecological preferences of the species and demonstrated the importance of maintaining aquatic landscape heterogeneity and spatial connectivity for effective river dolphin conservation.


KEY WORDS: South America · Satellite telemetry · Kernel density · Cetaceans · Neotropical rivers · Conservation · Protected areas · Transboundary


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Cite this article as: Mosquera-Guerra F, Trujillo F, Oliveira-da-Costa M, Marmontel M and others (2021) Home range and movements of Amazon river dolphins Inia geoffrensis in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. Endang Species Res 45:269-282. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01133

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