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Ecology and conservation status of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in Madagascar
Cerchio, S.; Andrianarivelo, N.; Andrianantenaina, B. (2015). Ecology and conservation status of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in Madagascar. Adv. Mar. Biol. 72: 163-199.
In: Advances in Marine Biology. Academic Press: London, New York. ISSN 0065-2881, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    By-catch; Conservation; Hunting; Sousa plumbea (G. Cuvier, 1829) [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Indian Ocean humpback dolphin; Madagascar; Ecological field survey; Socio-ecological interview survey

Authors  Top 
  • Cerchio, S.
  • Andrianarivelo, N.
  • Andrianantenaina, B.

    The Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea) has been studied in several range states in the Southwest Indian Ocean, however little information exists on populations in Madagascar. Here, we review available literature and describe a study on S. plumbea conducted between 2004 and 2013 on the west coast of Madagascar, involving boat-based field surveys in the southwest and northwest regions, and interview surveys with local fishers from villages along most of the west coast. Field surveys in the southwest region of Anakao/St. Augustine Bay revealed low encounter rates and mean group size, and markedly declining trends in both from 1999 to 2013. Conversely, in the northwest region around Nosy Be and Nosy Iranja, encounter rates were higher, as were mean group sizes, suggesting an apparently more abundant and less impacted population. Interview surveys revealed by-catch of coastal dolphins along the entire west coast, including S. plumbea, as well as other species. Directed hunting, including drive hunts of groups of dolphins, was reported primarily in the southern regions, in the range of the Vezo Malagasy ethnicity; however, there was evidence of hunting starting in one area in the northwest, where hunting dolphins is normally considered taboo for the predominant Sakalava ethnicity. Thus, the conservation status of S. plumbea in Madagascar appears to be spatially heterogeneous, with some areas where the local population is apparently more impacted than others. Conservation measures are recommended to mitigate further decline in the southwest of Madagascar, while protecting habitat and ensuring resilience in the northwest.

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