The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 – 2020
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The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 – 2020

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The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 – 2020 Fernando Trujillo, Enrique Crespo, Paul van Damme and José Saulo Usma WWF - Fundación Omacha - WCS - WDCS - Solamac The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 Contents Foreword 5 Acknowledgments 7 Resumen ejecutivo 9 Copyright Reproduction of this publication for educational Resumo executivo 11or non-commercial purposes is authorised without prior written permission from the copyright holder provided the source is fully Introduction 13acknowledged. Chapter 1. Status of river dolphins in South America 15Citation Trujillo, F., Crespo, E., Van Damme, P.A. & 1.1. Status, distribution and conservation of the river dolphins Inia geoffrensis 17J.S. Usma (Editors). 2010. The Action Plan for and Sotalia spp. in Venezuela South American River Dolphins 2010 – 2020. Marcela Portocarrero Aya, Arnaldo Ferrer, Carlos A. Lasso, Manuel Ruiz- WWF, Fundación Omacha, WDS, WDCS, García, Jaime Bolaños-Jiménez & Susana Caballero Solamac. Bogotá, D.C., Colombia. 249 pp. 1.2. Status and conservation of river dolphins Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia 29 fluviatilis in the Amazon and Orinoco River Basins in Colombia ISBN: 978-958-8554-10-5 Fernando Trujillo, Marcela Portocarrero-Aya, Catalina Gómez-Salazár, María Claudia Diazgranados, Luisa Castellanos-Mora, Manuel Ruiz- García & Susana CaballeroPhotos 59Fundación Omacha 1.3. Ecology and conservation status of river dolphins Inia and Sotalia in Peru Tamara L. McGuire & Enzo Aliaga-Rossel Printed by 1.4. Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis: A brief review of the ecology and 87Unión Gráfica Ltda. conservation status of river dolphins in the Ecuadorian Amazon Bogotá, D.C., Colombia Víctor Utreras B., Esteban Suárez R. & Salime Jalil 1.5. Distribution and conservation status of the Bolivian river dolphin Inia 99Design and Diagramation boliviensis (d’Orbigny 1832)Luisa Fernanda Cuervo Garzón Gabriela Tavera, Enzo Aliaga-Rossel, Paul A. Van Damme & Alvaro luisa.cuervo@gmail.com Crespo [ 3 ] Contents The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 1.6. Status, threats, conservation initiatives and possible solutions for Inia 123 Foreword geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis in Brazil Vera M. F. da Silva & Anthony R.Martin situation, the conservation of these particular This Action Plan represents a consensus of a river species, which were believed to be the most dolphin group of specialists all around South Chapter 2. Summary of threats for river dolphins in South America: Past, present and 145 impacted by human activities. The Action Plan America. It concerns about the status of the future was reviewed by IUCN in 1994 (Reeves & currently recognized river dolphin species (Inia Leatherwood, 1994) and again in 2003 (Reeves geoffrensis, Inia boliviensis and Sotalia fluviatilis), Fernando Trujillo, Enrique Crespo, Paul van Damme, Saulo Usma, Diana et al. 2003) always putting emphasis in coastal threats to their survival, and measures needed Morales-Betancourt, Alison Wood & Marcela Portocarrero small cetaceans and river dolphins.to better understand and address those threats. The Action Plan for the Conservation of River The main body of the Action Plan comes from Chapter 3. Freshwater protected areas and their importance for river dolphin conservation 159 Dolphins in South America is divided in the discussions carried out in a meeting carried Marcela Portocarrero Aya, Erich Hoyt & Alison Wood several chapters containing the status of the out in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, in 2008 species, with associated papers summarizing with the important objective of evaluating the the information for each country, the summary status of the populations of the River Dolphins Chapter 4. Abundance estimation program of South American river dolphins 2006- 167 and evaluation of threats, the role of protected in their distribution countries and to build an 2009: A summary areas for river dolphin conservation, a summary Action Plan to guarantee their survival. It must of the abundance estimations of river dolphin be said that the objectives were achieved. More Fernando Trujillo, Catalina Gómez-Salazar, Marcela Portocarrero, María in South America between 2006 and 2009, than 40 river dolphin biologists and government Claudia Diazgranados & Saulo Usma and the Action plan itself with a special body officers from Amazonian countries discussed of legislation and policy, communications, and designed the Action Plan for river dolphins administration and institutional strengthen in the Amazon and Orinoco River Basins. This Chapter 5. The Action Plan for River Dolphins in South America 177 and education and community participation. is probably one of the most important facts, that Fernando Trujillo, Enrique Crespo, Paul Van Damme,Vera Da Silva, Saulo Finally there are recommendations for research, is was mainly carried out by South American Usma, Enzo Aliaga, Catalina Gómez-Salazar, Marcela Portocarrero, Esteban education and conservation for these species.cetologists and ecologists, with the support of Suárez, Carlos A. Lasso, Arnaldo Ferrer & Jaime Bolaños local, national and international organizations. All this means a very important effort of many ∙ Scientific research and conservation 181 people. I am proud that this was an initiative Getting to this meeting in Bolivia took a ∙ Legislation and policy 185 when Fernando Trujillo was President of long time and the effort of many people. The ∙ Communications 190 SOLAMAC (2006-2008) and that together background for these objectives was set up a few ∙ Administration and institutional strengthening 193 with him we could set a policy of medium decades ago when a River Dolphin Workshop ∙ Education and community participation 195 term to the society. I hope that this is a very was organized in the People’s Republic of China interesting and exiting example of long term in 1986. For the first time a general view of what policies to carry out in the future.was going on in Amazonia was given to the Chapter 6. Recommended research, conservation and education initiatives 199 scientific community and the general public. This important workshop produced a very important report and associated publications. Chapter 7. References 213 The set of priorities given there were incorporated two years later to the first version of the Action Enrique A. Crespo, Ph.D.Plan for Cetacean Conservation compiled by Chapter 8. List of participants – organizations (Brief summary) President of SOLAMAC 2008-2010241 William Perrin (Perrin, 1988). After that, many IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Groupmeetings were organized in different parts of South American Coordinatorthe world in order to get a deep insight of the [ 4 ] [ 5 ] Contents Foreword The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 Acknowledgements We are indebted to the World Wildlife Fund to the Workshop for the formulation of this Action Plan, held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, (WWF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Whale and Dolphin Conservation Bolivia in April 2008. Their participation, enthusiasm and willingness to devote time Society (WDCS) and the Whitley Fund for Nature, for their financial and technical support and thought to our requests for advice and through the formulation of this Action Plan; assistance are testimony to their commitment to river dolphins’ conservation. to Fundacion La Salle de Ciencias Naturales (Venezuela), Asociación Faunagua (Bolivia), We want to thank WWF through Mary Lou Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Fundación Omacha (Colombia) and Higgins, Alyce Eymard and Marco Flores the Instituto de Investigación de Recursos for encouraging and supporting a long term regional initiative for river dolphins in South Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt for their scientific and technical advise. We are America. additionally grateful to the Latinamerican Aquatic Mammal Society (SOLAMAC) for Finally, thanks to María Claudia Diazgranados, their regional support. Marcela Portocarrero-Aya and Nicholas Panayiotou for their contribution in the Moreover, we are indebted to all the editorial process of this document. contributions received from the participants [ 6 ] [ 7 ] Acknowledgements The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 Resumen ejecutivo Los delfines de río son unas de las especies más y la Fundación Omacha (Colombia) con el apoyo de WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) amenazadas en el mundo. Generalmente habitan y muchas más organizaciones en cada país. Este en países en desarrollo en Asia y Suramérica, programa ha recorrido más de 7.000 km de donde una gran diversidad de actividades ríos en las cuencas del Amazonas y el Orinoco humanas los pone en riesgo. En Asia por y ha capacitado cerca de 80 investigadores de ejemplo, hace dos años la Unión Internacional nueve países. A través de estos recorridos se para la Naturaleza (UICN) declaró al delfín identificaron las amenazas más relevantes para del río Yangtze como Extinto Ecológicamente. las especies en cada país, se generó una red La sobrepesca, la contaminación y la dramática de trabajo importante entre organizaciones e transformación de este río por la construcción investigadores, y se implementó una estrategia de la represa más grande del mundo precipitaron de comunicación global capturando la atención su extinción. La situación no es mucho mejor en de los gobiernos sobre estas especies. Esto creó Pakistán, la India o el río Mekong en Cambodia el ambiente propicio para diseñar el Action y Myanmar, donde sobreviven precariamente Plan for South American River Dolphins otras especies. 2010 - 2020, que se concretó en Abril del 2008 en la ciudad de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, En Suramérica habitan tres especies de donde confluyeron cerca de 50 participantes, delfines de agua dulce: el bufeo rosado (Inia de 11 países, con representantes de gobiernos, geoffrensis) y el delfín gris (Sotalia fluviatilis), investigadores y la UICN. El Plan tomó dos ambos en las cuencas del los rios Amazonas y años para que estar listo y refleja las situaciones Orinoco, y el bufeo boliviano (Inia boliviensis), y necesidades generales de todos los países. mayormente en Bolivia en los rios Mamoré, Se identifican las acciones más urgentes para Itenez y Madeira. La situación de estas especies garantizar la supervivencia de estas especies, al no es tan dramática como en Asia, pero ya se igual que sobresale, la necesidad de evaluar y observan amenazas concretas que de no ser mitigar los impactos de las pesquerías, detener controladas pueden llevar a la extinción de la captura dirigida de estos cetáceos y evaluar las nuestro patrimonio natural. Actualmente, consecuencias de la construcción de represas e los principales problemas para estos delfines hidroeléctricas sobre los ecosistemas acuáticos. están ocasionados por capturas dirigidas para ser usados como carnada, principalmente en El Plan igualmente resalta la necesidad Brasil, interacciones negativas con pesquerías y de generar alternativas económicas para retaliaciones de pescadores que les disparan o comunidades locales para poder implementar los envenenan, contaminación de los ríos por estrategias de conservación que sean efectivas mercurio e hidrocarburos, y fragmentación del y que motiven a los ribereños y gobiernos a hábitat por causa de la construcción de represas. consolidar esfuerzos de manejo en los grandes Debido a todas estas amenazas, se hacía ecosistemas acuáticos de Suramérica. fundamental conocer el estado de conservación En esta estrategia de conservación se hace de estas especies, y por tal razón se creó un programa de estimación de abundancia de explícita también la importancia de los delfines de río en el continente como especies bandera, delfines de río en Suramérica liderado por WWF [ 8 ] [ 9 ] Resumen ejecutivo The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 sombrilla y carismáticas que representan Finalmente, el Plan esboza las principales Resumo executivola biodiversidad acuática de la región y se acciones para los próximos diez años, y se convierten en excelentes embajadores de convierte en una iniciativa regional, que cuenta los ecosistemas y de las especies acuáticas desde sus inicios con el apoyo y participación Os golfinhos de rio são umas das espécies mais Sul liderado pela WWF (Fundo Mundial para de las cuencas Amazónica y Orinocense. de los gobiernos, fuentes financiadoras, ameaçadas do mundo. Habitam geralmente a Natureza – World Wide Fund for Nature) e Estas particularidades sumadas a su carácter investigadores y comunidades locales. países em desenvolvimento da Ásia e América Fundação Omacha (Colômbia) com o apoio migratorio hacen que las especies adquieran do Sul, onde uma grande diversidade de da WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), e una mayor importancia para la búsqueda Los lineamientos escogidos esperan poder atividades humanas colocam-nos em risco. Na muitas outras organizações em cada país. Este e implementación de nuevas estrategias de involucrar a todos los actores que de manera Ásia, por exemplo, a União Internacional para programa percorreu mais de 7.000 km de rios conservación. Actualmente lo anterior permite directa o indirecta influyen en la conservación a Natureza (UICN) classificou o Golfinho do nas bacias no Amazonas e Orinoco, e capacitou que se desarrollen de manera conjunta planes e de las especies y sus ecosistemas, y con esto Rio Yangtze como extinto ecologicamente. aproximadamente 80 pesquisadores de nove iniciativas de conservación en Áreas Protegidas poder asegurar la efectiva implementación del A sobrepesca, a contaminação e a dramática países. Através destas incursões pelos rios sul-(AP), y se deje a consideración la importancia Plan. transformação deste rio pela construção da americanos, as ameaças mais relevantes para as de crear nuevas Áreas de conservación donde maior represa do mundo levaram à extinção da espécies foram identificadas, gerou-se uma rede los delfines de río sean los protagonistas. espécie. A situação não é melhor no Paquistão, de trabalho importante entre organizações e na Índia ou no Rio Mekong no Camboja e pesquisadores, e se implementou uma estratégia Mianmar, onde sobrevivem precariamente de comunicação global, chamando a atenção outras espécies. dos governos sobre estas espécies. Isto criou o ambiente propício para elaborar o Action Na América do Sul, habitam três espécies de Plan for South American River Dolphins golfinhos de água doce: o boto-rosa (Inia 2010 – 2020 (Plano de Ação para Golfinhos geoffrensis) e o boto-cinza ou tucuxi (Sotalia de Rio da América do Sul 2010 – 2020), que se fluviatilis), ambos nas bacias dos rios Amazonas concretizou em Abril de 2008 na cidade de Santa e Orinoco, e o boto-boliviano (Inia boliviensis), Cruz de La Sierra, Bolívia, onde convergiram encontrado principalmente na Bolívia, nos rios aproximadamente 50 participantes de 11 países, Mamoré, Itenez e Madeira. A situação destas com representantes de governos, pesquisadores espécies não é tão dramática como na Ásia, e a UICN. O plano foi concluído em dois anos, mas já se observam ameaças concretas que, se e reflete as situações e necessidades de todos os não forem controladas, podem levar à extinção países. Identificam-se as ações mais urgentes de nosso patrimônio natural. Atualmente, os para garantir a sobrevivência das espécies, a principais problemas para estes golfinhos são necessidade de avaliar e mitigar os impactos ocasionados por capturas intencionais para das pescarias, deter a captura intencional serem usados como isca, principalmente no destes cetáceos e avaliar as conseqüências da Brasil, por interações negativas com pescarias e construção de represas e hidrelétricas sobre os retaliações por parte dos pescadores, que atiram ecossistemas aquáticos. O Plano igualmente com armas de fogo e envenenam os animais, ressalta a necessidade de gerar alternativas pela contaminação dos rios por mercúrio e econômicas para as comunidades locais, para hidrocarbonetos, e pela fragmentação do habitat poder implementar estratégias de conservação através da construção de represas. Com base que sejam efetivas e que motivem os ribeirinhos nestas ameaças, era fundamental conhecer o e governos a consolidar esforços de manejo nos estado de conservação destas espécies, e, por esta grandes ecossistemas aquáticos da América do razão, foi criado um programa de estimação de Sul. abundância de golfinhos de rio na América do [ 10 ] [ 11 ] Resumen ejecutivo Resumo executivo The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 Nesta estratégia de conservação, explicita-se Conservação (UCs), e expressa a importância Introductiontambém a importância dos golfinhos de rio no de criar novas áreas de conservação onde os continente como espécies bandeira, guarda-chuva golfinhos de rio sejam os protagonistas. e carismáticas, que representam a biodiversidade aquática da região e se transformam em Finalmente, o Plano esboça as principais ações The Amazon and Orinoco Basins constitute America. For that reason the Fundación Omacha excelentes embaixadores dos ecossistemas e das para os próximos dez anos, e se converte em uma and WWF developed the First Abundance probably the largest reservoirs of freshwater of espécies aquáticas das regiões Amazônicas e do iniciativa regional, que conta desde seu início Estimation Program of South American River our planet. Occupying more than 6,8 million Orinoco. Estas particularidades, somadas a seu com o apoio e participação dos governos, fontes Dolphins (2006 – 2009) in order to provide of square kilometers, the Amazon itself is the caráter migratório, fazem com que as espécies de financiamento, pesquisadores e comunidades regional information on abundance, densities largest River Basin in the world (Goulding adquiram uma maior importância para a locais. Espera-se que as considerações envolvam and population sizes in five different South et al. 2001). In this gigantic geographic busca e implementação de novas estratégias de todos os atores que de maneira direta ou indireta American countries (Colombia, Venezuela, area thousands of species needed to adapt conservação. Atualmente, o plano permite que influenciam na conservação das espécies e seus Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia). Some of the themselves to the dramatic flooded pulses, and se desenvolvam de maneira conjunta planos e ecossistemas, e com isto poder assegurar a results were already presented at international mammals were not the exception. Between all iniciativas de conservação em Unidades de correta implementação do Plano. congresses and scientific papers are under of them, river dolphins are the most remarkable development. creatures, being able to be in main rivers, tributaries, lagoons, and even in the flooded Abundance estimations, negative interaccions areas and became the top aquatic predators with fisheries, impact of gold mining, dams in these ecosystems. However, their incredible and hidrocarbure projects are among the most adaptation process to the ecology of the Amazon urgent recommendations to be evaluated. and Orinoco has been disrupted by the relatively Since 1986 projects around river dolphins were recenthuman activity: negative interaction with consolidated in Brazil and Colombia, where long fisheries, deliberate hunting, deforestation, term evaluations have been carried out (Best & water pollution and fragmentation of habitats. Da Silva 1984, 1989ab, Da Silva 1994, Trujillo 1994, Martin & Da Silva 2000, Trujillo 2000, As a result of this situation, river dolphins, both Gómez et al. 2008). In countries such as Peru, in Asia and South America, became one of the Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia significant most endangered mammal species in the world. efforts have also been made but corresponded As river dolphins inhabit third world countries to isolated initiatives of researchers doing the efforts for their conservation has not been their thesis (Utreras 1995, McGuirre 1995, easy, especially because most of the negative Leatherwood 1996, Aliaga 2002). During the human practices in the region are the result of last few years important advances has been no other economic alternatives and the limited made in different topics around river dolphins presence of governmental organizations and in South America, especially in abundance strategies. Conservation of river dolphins should (Vidal et al. 1993, Martin & Da Silva 2004b; have a holistic approach in South America, Gómez et al. 2009), habitat use (Martin & Da regarding how to mitigate negative impacts Silva, 2004a), interactions with fisheries (Da of human activities and develop sustainable Silva 1996, Trujillo 2003, Gómez et al. 2008, environmental practices. Bonilla et al. 2008) and genetics (Banguera- Hinestroza et al. 2002, Ruiz-García et al. 2007, For more than 20 years, researchers from Caballero et al. 2009ab). At the same time, cooperation between researchers is becoming different countries have recommended the implementation of programs that allow more common and also the standardization of methodologies.establishing the status of these species in South [ 12 ] [ 13 ] Resumo executivo Introduction The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 As threats can be different in each country, in Asia, where recently the baiji (Lipotes the IUCN has promoted red data books vexillifer) was considered ecologically extint. of endangered species for each one. The Several organizations such as WWF, Wildlife consideration of a precautionary approach to Conservation Society, Whale and Dolphin not miscategorize the species, and the inclusion vation Society among others have of the scientific evidence available have focussed efforts and funding to preserve these been tools to most of the countries in South species both in Asia and South America. As America that have followed the instructions part of a global strategy, several meetings from IUCN to produce their own red data have been carried out between organizations books of endangered species. In all cases, the and researchers in different countries and category for Inia is Vulnerable and for Sotalia in many of them there always emerged the varies from DD to Endangered (Tirira 2001, recommendation of specific action plans for Rodríguez-Mahecha et al. 2006, Rodríguez these species that encourage governments to take & Rójas-Suárez 2008, Ministerio de Medio actions to conserve these unique animals. For Ambiente y Agua, 2009). Despite these local this reason, and after the effort of many people categorizations, the IUCN adopted a different in South America, we held the South American classification at international level, and all River Dolphins Action Plan workshop in the river dolphin species are now considered Data city of Santa Cruz (Bolivia) in April of 2008. Deficient (DD) (IUCN 2008). This situation In this meeting of more than 40 researchers should discuss and try to evaluate the level of and officers of governments from more than threat regarding the available information. eight countries, we deliberated the Action Plan for river dolphins in the Amazon and Orinoco Due to the high levels of threat for aquatic River Basins. mammals, the same IUCN has published specific Actions Plans for the conservations of The Action Plan is divided in seven main Cetaceans worldwide (Reeves & Leatherwood chapters: 1) the status of river dolphins in 1994, Reeves et al. 2003). These action plans South America, with novel papers summarizing have been very useful to address specific actions the information for each country; 2) an analysis to evaluate the status of endangered species, of threats for these species, 3) freshwater and has linked efforts of several organizations, protected areas and their role for river dolphin governments and international agreements. conservation, 4) the Abundance Estimation River dolphins have always been part of these Program for South American River Dolphins, action plans, and in 2000 were considered 5) the Action plan, 6) recommendations for for the first time at the 52th International research, conservation, education initiatives Whaling Commission meeting. The state of and policy and legislation for these species, and affairs of these species is particularly critical finally 7) references. [ 14 ] Introduction The Action Plan for South American River Dolphins 2010 - 2020 Chapter 1 Status of river dolphins in South America