Potential short- and medium-term targets for the conservation of Sousa teuszii


Weir, C. R. and Collins, T.



Place Published

Unpublished report




Sousa teuszii, Atlantic humpback dolphin, West Africa, Conservation


In this document we have identified a number of short- and medium-term targets to progress conservation efforts for Sousa teuszii. These targets incorporate objectives identified at the ESOCC workshop in Nuremberg in December 2018, and those identified at the ad hoc meeting held at the World Marine Mammal Conference (WMMC) in Barcelona during December 2019. These targets are not prioritised (but ranking them might be a good idea), and should be considered departure points for further discussion and agreement. We also recognize that adopting a longer-term conservation plan, such as the CMS Concerted Action, should remain the overall goal of these efforts. Overall, most actions required to move forwards the conservation of Sousa teuszii can be allocated to three core areas: 1. Increase awareness, capacity building and protection measures. Work with the governments and other relevant agencies (including environmental consultancies) of confirmed and potential range states in order to increase awareness, manage threats and improve/implement legislative elements (both for dolphins and the preservation of their habitats). Actively engage the private sector, including developers. Provide education and awareness of dolphins to local coastal communities (especially fishers). Support capacity building via the training and inclusion of local biologists and other wildlife professionals (e.g. rangers). 2. Fill knowledge gaps. The collection of the field data relevant to filling in critical data gaps, prioritising those data that are needed to support informed conservation and management decisions. Including baseline abundance estimates (and ongoing trends), distribution, genetic diversity/population structure, mortality causes and rates, life history, and health. 3. Implement immediate actions to address threats. Directed towards those range states where specific threats (e.g. bycatch) have already been clearly identified as having significant impacts on contemporary dolphin populations, and therefore where implementing immediate actions can be justified even in the absence of robust scientific data on population size or trends.