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A review of four decades of research on distribution and abundance of the Bolivian river dolphin Inia geoffrensis boliviensis in Bolivia

Enzo Aliaga- Rossel*, Luis A. Guizada Duran

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The Bolivian river dolphin locally called bufeo is one of four species of river dolphins in South America. Endemic to the upper basin of the Madeira in the Bolivian Amazon region, the species is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. This paper includes information on aspects related to the geographic distribution of the species, and a review of the studies on its abundance that have been conducted in Bolivia since the 1970s. We include information on the survey, analysis methods used in different studies and how these methods might influence the population estimate. In our review we found 63 population abundance estimates across 17 reviewed publications for the Bolivian river dolphin. These references report relative abundance data by rivers that range from 0.2 to 2.81 bufeos km–1, and a density range from zero to 7.59 bufeo km–2. The information presented here reflects the knowledge on the population size of the species for Bolivia over 4 decades of studies and will be useful for conservation strategies and as a tool for decision makers.