Public knowledge and awareness of the conservation of the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) along the central coast of Peru

Chiara Guidino, Sarai Cortez-Casamayor, Elizabeth Campbell, Mateo Cajaleón, Nelly Peña-Cutimbo, Mauricio Delgado, Jenyffer Moran-Valverde, Yvette Arbulu-Vercauteren, Aldo S. Pacheco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the coastal common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus is under legal protection, this species is threatened by bycatch and direct hunting along the Peruvian coast. Species conservation can be better achieved if communities are empowered with knowledge and actions to mitigate negative impacts on vulnerable species. Thus, it is important to understand people's degree of knowledge about a species and its conservation issues. This study evaluated the knowledge and perception of aspects of the biology, ecology and conservation status of the common bottlenose dolphin in coastal communities along the central coast of Peru. Structured questionnaires were completed by 197 people, and seven people participated in open-ended interviews in January 2022. Most respondents were knowledgeable of the distribution and ecology of common bottlenose dolphins. Seventy per cent of those surveyed were aware of some threats to this species. Some respondents were eager to take part in actions that would aid in the conservation of the species. However, 69.5% (n = 137) were unfamiliar with the word ‘bycatch’. Charismatic species can engage the public in conservation actions. This research shows that common bottlenose dolphin can be used as a flagship species for marine conservation. It is important to actively involve all stakeholders, particularly fishers, in conservation efforts and the measures that need to be taken to improve common bottlenose dolphin conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-408
Number of pages12
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • atisanal fisheries
  • bycatch
  • coastal communities
  • conservation
  • human dimension
  • opinion


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