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

Elizabeth Campbell, Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto, Jeffrey C. Mangel, Jose Luis Mena, Ruth H. Thurstan, Brendan J. Godley, David March

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-779
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - 3 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Amazon
  • Inia geoffrensis
  • Peru
  • boto
  • dams
  • fishery interactions
  • river dolphin
  • satellite tracking


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