Seasonal movements of river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) in a protected Amazonian floodplain

Vanessa J. Mintzer (Lead / Corresponding author), Kai Lorenzen, Thomas K. Frazer, Vera M F da Silva, Anthony R. Martin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Deliberate killing for use as bait in a regional catfish (Calophysus macropterus) fishery is the primary threat affecting the survival of the Amazon river dolphin, or boto (Inia geoffrensis). Establishing and improving freshwater protected areas has been suggested as a possible course of action to protect the species. However, the ecology of the boto is poorly understood and more information is needed on the species' habitat use and movement patterns to ensure that spatial protection initiatives meet conservation needs. In this study, mark-recapture/resight data collected in and near the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, a várzea in the Brazilian Amazon, was used to examine transition probabilities of botos between various habitat types. Our findings suggest that it is imperative that spatial protection initiatives focused on the boto take into account the importance of várzea habitat and bay systems for individuals in early life stages. Moreover, because botos frequently occupy the main rivers, particularly during the low water period, protecting areas of the main river waters adjacent to várzeas could aid in the protection of hunted populations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)664-681
    Number of pages18
    JournalMarine Mammal Science
    Issue number2
    Early online date1 Jan 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2016


    • Amazon river dolphin
    • Boto
    • Calophysus macropterus
    • Habitat use
    • Inia geoffrensis
    • Mamirauá sustainable development reserve
    • Mark-recapture modeling
    • mota
    • piracatinga
    • Transition probability

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aquatic Science
    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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