dolphin research in Mozambique

Primeiro barco para pesquisa de golfinhos em Moçambique.
First boat for dolphin research acquired by SOS foundation (Geneve). Dolphin sights in Inhaca Island, and research conducted by University of Maputo (Eduardo Mondlane).

Taken from here

Mozambique. First dolphin research boat will help with data on endangered humped back dolphins PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 December 2005
Conservation news:It has been a long and difficult way, but finally success is within reach: the first dolphin research boat in Mozambique! Although the Save Our Seas (SOS) Foundation, Geneva, provided the funds already some time ago (as reported), the red tape proved to be an insurmountable hurdle in acquiring a double-engine inflatable from South Africa. Our partner’s persistent attempts to obtain an exemption from the high import duties failed, so that – in agreement with GRD and SOS – they decided to go a different way and have a double-hull boat driven by two 40 PS outboard engines built in Maputo. While the money thus remained in Mozambique rather than going to South Africa, this solution turned out to be more expensive and did not leave enough money for the two engines. SOS and GRD therefore decided to help with the remaining costs. 3000 euro, which were collected in the campaign “Bears fight for Dolphins” in cooperation with the German gummi bears company “Baeren-Treff”, were also used for the purchase of the outboard engines.

In the past season, Almeida Guissamulo and his team from Maputo University collected some interesting data about the humpback dolphins living in the waters of Inhaca island (Bay of Maputo). The animals were mainly sighted in the summer, from December through April. Preferring the shallow waters and tideways off the island’s west coast, they were rarely seen in the mangrove forests or near the two offshore coral reefs.

As before, there were no sightings in winter because boat surveys are hardly possible during this unstable season. The offshore regions near Inhaca have not been the subject of any research until now. This will change now that the new boat is in operation.

The data base now holds dorsal fin images of 23 individually identified humpback dolphins. Fourteen animals were known from previous years, while nine more animals were added in 2005. The good news is that over five percent of the observed dolphins were babies and over 33 percent juveniles, thus making this population quite vital. However, their number is relatively low and therefore this population is still endangered. On the basis of the existing data, Almeida Guissamulo assumes that about 57 humpback dolphins stay year round in the waters of Inhaca. Most interesting also are the strong family ties of this rarely studied dolphin species: most families remain together over long periods of time without any substantial changes in composition.

We hope to expand the project next year, not only because of the new boat. We want to intensify the important activities for raising awareness among locals, a great majority of whom live from the sea, launch small projects for the sale of souvenirs and sustainable dolphin-watching tourism, and promote the establishment of protected areas for dolphins. Our partners in Mozambique depend on us, without our help they will not be able to save “their” dolphins. We want to give hope to the people in Mozambique, showing them that we will not leave them alone in their efforts to conserve nature and rebuild their country.

Ulrich Karlowski

We are pleased to thank the following institutions which have provided significant support to our project in Mozambique: Baeren-Treff and its founders Mr. and Mrs. Mohr, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Zoo Duisburg AG, Save Our Seas Foundation and all other donors. Without them there would be no project to save the endangered humpback dolphins in Mozambique.

You can help! Donations indicating “humpback dolphins” will be strictly allocated to this project.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 December 2005 )
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