Satellite-monitored movements of the Amazon River dolphin and considerations for their conservation


E. Campbell

Additional Authors

J. Alfaro-Shigueto; J. C. Mangel; J.L. Mena; R.H. Thurstan; B.J. Godley; D. March




Cambridge University Press on behalf of Fauna & Flora International

Volume & Issue

First View, pp. 1 - 11



Country / Region

Amazon, Peru

Document Type

Peer-reviewed journal article


Amazon river dolphin

Science Keywords

Movements, Habitat Use

Conservation Measure

Research and monitoring, Species knowledge and understanding

Threat Keywords

Dam construction, Bycatch, Waterway construction and Dredging


The Amazon River dolphin¬†Inia geoffrensis¬†occurs throughout the basins of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers and is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Using satellite tracking data from eight dolphins (one female and seven males) in the Peruvian Amazon, we demonstrate that these dolphins inhabit a variety of habitat types and have core areas and home range areas of variable magnitudes. To gain a better understanding of how threats affect these dolphins, we examined the distance of dolphin records to locations of current and potential future anthropogenic threats. On average, dolphin home ranges overlapped with fisheries by 89%. Dolphins were found at an average distance of 252 km from the nearest proposed dam and 125 km from the nearest proposed dredging site. Given that many of these threats are still in the planning stage, we advise the government to consider the negative effects these activities have already had on other riverine species before proceeding. Additionally, efforts should be made to expand river dolphin tracking programmes to span multiple seasons, to track more females at our study sites and to increase the numbers tracked overall in other areas to improve our knowledge of the species’ movement patterns.