Amazon pink dolphin

An Underwater Acoustic Ribbon for the Conservation of the Amazon Pink Dolphin in the Mamirauá Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil

bottom image
top image

Amazon pink dolphin

An Underwater Acoustic Ribbon for the Conservation of the Amazon Pink Dolphin in the Mamirauá Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil
top image
MAMIRAUÁ

The conservation of the two endangered species of fresh water dolphins inhabiting the Mamirauá Reserve in the Amazon is challenged by several threats derived from human activities. Originally created by Márcio Ayres, a Rolex Awards Laureate, as a sustainable development Reserve covering 3.700.000 ha, Mamirauá is also the home of Projeto Boto from the INPA (Brazil) that has been studying several aspects of the boto and tucuxi biology for the last two decades. Advances in electronics, computers and numerical analysis have made the use of underwater acoustic technology accessible and affordable to relatively small budgets, but most importantly are permitting the remote monitoring, in real-time, of the presence of dolphins in any ocean, coastal and riverine habitats, thus contributing to their conservation. This unique technology is now supporting the research and education objectives of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute by deploying a network of acoustic stations in the reserve, allowing the online monitoring – through the Internet – of the distribution of the two populations. This project represents an ambitious programme whose aim is to significantly improve our scientific knowledge of this unique ecosystem to help maintaining the Amazon biodiversity. These conservation actions are coordinated by The Sense of Silence Foundation.

MAMIRAUÁ

The conservation of the two endangered species of fresh water dolphins inhabiting the Mamirauá Reserve in the Amazon is challenged by several threats derived from human activities. Originally created by Márcio Ayres, a Rolex Awards Laureate, as a sustainable development Reserve covering 3.700.000 ha, Mamirauá is also the home of Projeto Boto from the INPA (Brazil) that has been studying several aspects of the boto and tucuxi biology for the last two decades. Advances in electronics, computers and numerical analysis have made the use of underwater acoustic technology accessible and affordable to relatively small budgets, but most importantly are permitting the remote monitoring, in real-time, of the presence of dolphins in any ocean, coastal and riverine habitats, thus contributing to their conservation. This unique technology is now supporting the research and education objectives of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute by deploying a network of acoustic stations in the reserve, allowing the online monitoring – through the Internet – of the distribution of the two populations. This project represents an ambitious programme whose aim is to significantly improve our scientific knowledge of this unique ecosystem to help maintaining the Amazon biodiversity. These conservation actions are coordinated by The Sense of Silence Foundation.


Mamirauá Reserve: 3,7 Mhectares
Widest ranging diet of dolphins: 53 species of fish
Size and weight: up to 185kg and 2,5m long
In the Amazon for 15 millions of years
THREATS TO DOLPHINS

Interactions with man and hunting Fishery-related dolphin deaths, caused by large-mesh monofilament nets, and increasing deliberate hunting of dolphins to be used as bait for a particular species of catfish that feeds on dead animals, are threatening the life and conservation of the Mamirauá dolphin populations. TSOSF is heavily involved in helping finding solutions to prevent entanglement in nets and stopping the illegal and inhumane hunting of dolphins. One major difficulty is that both interactions are difficult to visually detect, in particular since the killing often occurs at night in the remote flooded forest. Men involved usually threaten the lives of anyone who tries to stop them, preventing to directly intervene. Fortunately, there is only a small minority of the local people that carries out harpooning while most Mamirauá inhabitants are vehemently opposed to it, providing reasons for hope that this killing will eventually stop. Yet, meanwhile, a large number of dolphins continue to be hunted and negative interaction with fisheries is expanding.

THREATS TO DOLPHINS

Interactions with man and hunting Fishery-related dolphin deaths, caused by large-mesh monofilament nets, and increasing deliberate hunting of dolphins to be used as bait for a particular species of catfish that feeds on dead animals, are threatening the life and conservation of the Mamirauá dolphin populations. TSOSF is heavily involved in helping finding solutions to prevent entanglement in nets and stopping the illegal and inhumane hunting of dolphins. One major difficulty is that both interactions are difficult to visually detect, in particular since the killing often occurs at night in the remote flooded forest. Men involved usually threaten the lives of anyone who tries to stop them, preventing to directly intervene. Fortunately, there is only a small minority of the local people that carries out harpooning while most Mamirauá inhabitants are vehemently opposed to it, providing reasons for hope that this killing will eventually stop. Yet, meanwhile, a large number of dolphins continue to be hunted and negative interaction with fisheries is expanding.


THE ACOUSTIC POTENTIAL

To non-intrusively detect and monitor cetacean species in their environment gave rise to passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) techniques, for which research is very active. Advances in electronics, computers and numerical analysis now make this PAM technology more accessible and affordable to small research budgets. Various systems have been used, including radio-linked systems, drifting buoys, and arrays of autonomous recorders for versatile and long-term deployments. The goal of such PAM systems, is the continuous mapping of presence and distribution of whales and dolphins over ocean basins and assessing their densities, sometimes in quasi real-time. Their performance in effectively accomplishing these tasks depends on the characteristics of the targeted cetacean acoustic signals, the environment, the type of equipment used, its deployment and configuration. This performance may significantly vary from case to case. However, in any case, PAM’s success first depends on the capacity to isolate the target signals from the rest of sounds in which they are embedded, especially for distant sources and low signal to noise ratios (SNR).

THE ACOUSTIC POTENTIAL

To non-intrusively detect and monitor cetacean species in their environment gave rise to passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) techniques, for which research is very active. Advances in electronics, computers and numerical analysis now make this PAM technology more accessible and affordable to small research budgets. Various systems have been used, including radio-linked systems, drifting buoys, and arrays of autonomous recorders for versatile and long-term deployments. The goal of such PAM systems, is the continuous mapping of presence and distribution of whales and dolphins over ocean basins and assessing their densities, sometimes in quasi real-time. Their performance in effectively accomplishing these tasks depends on the characteristics of the targeted cetacean acoustic signals, the environment, the type of equipment used, its deployment and configuration. This performance may significantly vary from case to case. However, in any case, PAM’s success first depends on the capacity to isolate the target signals from the rest of sounds in which they are embedded, especially for distant sources and low signal to noise ratios (SNR).


The Sense of Silence Foundation Silent Ears Solution

TSOSF is responsible to coordinate the deployment of a network of independent acoustic stations to monitor the presence of the two dolphin populations. The first permanent LIDO (hhtp://listentothedeepocean.com) underwater acoustic station in the Amazon is located at the floating Uakari lodge, in the Mamirauá Reserve, through the support of the Rolex Institute.

The Sense of Silence Foundation Silent Ears Solution

TSOSF is responsible to coordinate the deployment of a network of independent acoustic stations to monitor the presence of the two dolphin populations. The first permanent LIDO (hhtp://listentothedeepocean.com) underwater acoustic station in the Amazon is located at the floating Uakari lodge, in the Mamirauá Reserve, through the support of the Rolex Institute.


Mamirauá Reserve: 3,7 Mhectares
Widest ranging diet of dolphins: 53 species of fish
Size and weight: up to 185kg and 2,5m long
In the Amazon for 15 millions of years