Unraveling the occupancy patterns of Guiana dolphin in Southeastern Brazil

Caio Noritake Louzada

Cananéia estuarine system is one of the most important estuaries in Brazil and it has a high conservation level which, despite legal protection, is undergoing a series of increasing threats due to human impacts. The Guiana dolphin plays an important ecological role as a top predator in the estuary yet it is affected by dolphin watching tourism that increases the risk of collision with boats. Firstly, we will understand which areas are most used by dolphins, the sites with higher risk to collision with boats and assess the population status. We will also identify strategies to mitigate the impacts of these tourism activities. Field surveys will be conducted to identify the core areas used by dolphins and the main routes used by boats. We will estimate dolphin population abundance and disseminate the results of the project creating outreach materials e.g. reports, leaflets and posters. Maps detailing the areas with the highest risk of boats colliding with dolphins will be produced and shared with our main stakeholders e.g. tourism companies, local environmental agencies and tourists. Through the project, we will be able to support the long-term conservation for Guiana dolphin in the Cananéia estuary.