The Franciscana Dolphin

The Franciscana Dolphin

On the Edge of Survival

1st Edition - June 24, 2022

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  • Editors: Paulo Cesar Simoes-Lopes, Marta Jussara Cremer
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323909747
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323903479

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The Franciscana Dolphin: On the Edge of Survival provides the most updated and comprehensive knowledge on the most endangered marine mammal in the Western South Atlantic Ocean. It synthesizes all available information on this dolphin species, also referred to as La Plata dolphin, ranging from taxonomy, evolution, diet, parasites and diseases, reproduction and growth, to genetic diversity and stock definition, distribution, abundance, behavior, as well as the threats and causes behind the dwindling population numbers. Written by international experts, this book explores aspects of the species’ natural history and urgent problems of accidental mortality in fishing nets, contamination, and habitat loss. It offers the most current research and practices on rehabilitating debilitated animals and presents initiatives at the regional and international level for species conservation, including current and potential strategies related to marine protected areas and public policies. The Franciscana Dolphin: On the Edge of Survival is an important resource for researchers and practitioners in marine conservation, marine biology, and zoology, particularly those who seek to gain the most reputable information on vulnerable marine mammal species for conservation efforts. Policymakers and public officials involved in environmental protection and planning will also find this useful to combat similar threats with other dolphin species around the world

Key Features

  • Offers the most up-to-date research of the species’ natural history, biology and ecology
  • Discusses current threats and solutions for species conservation, which can be applied to other marine mammal species
  • Provides updates on national and international agreements and policies for conservation efforts


Researchers and conservationists working with marine mammals; marine biologists, zoologists. Advanced undergraduate or graduate students in marine biology, conservation, and zoology courses; policymakers or governmental figures in charge of conservation and sustainability goals

Table of Contents

  • Cover Image
  • Title Page
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Table of Contents
  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 Taxonomy, skeletal morphology, and evolutionary history
  • Taxonomy
  • Skeleton
  • Morphology associated with echolocation
  • Fossils and evolutionary history
  • References
  • Chapter 2 Overview of franciscana diet
  • Introduction
  • Materials and methods
  • Results and discussion
  • References
  • Chapter 3 Macroparasites of franciscana: what can their coexistence say to conservationists?
  • Overview
  • Parasite diversity
  • Main factors influencing infection
  • Parasites as biological tags and biogeographical distribution of parasite infections in franciscana
  • Methodological recommendations
  • Conclusion and general recommendations
  • Acknowledgment
  • References
  • Chapter 4 Pathologies and diseases
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Liver diseases
  • Renal diseases
  • Lymphoid system diseases
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Systemic diseases
  • Further considerations
  • References
  • Chapter 5 The life history of franciscana dolphins
  • Introduction
  • Age, growth, and sexual dimorphism
  • Franciscana reproductive cycle
  • Population reproductive parameters
  • Longevity and senescence
  • Survival
  • Franciscana mating system: assembling a complex puzzle
  • Perspectives
  • References
  • Chapter 6 Genetic diversity, population structure, and phylogeography
  • Introduction
  • Genetic diversity and molecular markers
  • Population genetics and phylogeography
  • Population structure
  • How population structure can assist in the conservation of franciscanas
  • References
  • Chapter 7 Abundance estimates of franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei): a review and future recommendations
  • Introduction
  • Early years
  • Methodological improvements and computation of correction factors
  • Franciscana abundance estimates
  • Conclusion and recommendations
  • References
  • Chapter 8 Behavior and movement patterns of franciscana dolphins
  • Introduction
  • References
  • Chapter 9 Acoustic repertoire and bioacoustics applications
  • Introduction
  • Acoustic repertoire description
  • Prospect for abundance estimates
  • Acoustic recognition of calves
  • Conservation and anthropogenic underwater noise
  • References
  • Chapter 10 Is the franciscana bycatch in gillnet fisheries sustainable?
  • Introduction
  • The franciscana bycatch
  • Assessment of bycatch and conservation status
  • Potential mitigation options
  • Conservation perspectives
  • Concluding remarks and recommendations
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • Chapter 11 Chemical pollution and franciscana—a review
  • Organic compounds
  • Conservation implications
  • References
  • Chapter 12 Coastal development and habitat loss: understanding and resolving associated threats to the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei
  • Introduction
  • Franciscana management areas (FMAs) and coastal impacts
  • General threats of coastal development
  • Cumulative effects, risk assessment, and management in coastal areas
  • Conclusion and future actions
  • References
  • Chapter 13 Long-term patterns of franciscana strandings throughout its distribution
  • Introduction
  • Material and methods
  • Results and discussion
  • Final considerations
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
  • Chapter 14 Rehabilitation of stranded specimens
  • Introduction
  • Strandings
  • Rescue and transport
  • Clinical evaluation and first aid
  • Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition
  • Drugs and routes of administration
  • Release
  • Zoonotic considerations
  • Final considerations
  • References
  • Chapter 15 Alternative fishing methods, the potential use of “pingers,” and other solutions to reduce the bycatch of franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei)
  • Acoustic deterrent devices (Pingers)
  • Modified fishing gear
  • Alternative fishing gear
  • Considerations for franciscana bycatch mitigation strategies
  • References
  • Chapter 16 Gillnet fishing characteristics in Franciscana Management Areas
  • Introduction
  • Gillnet fisheries definition
  • Production and monitoring of gillnet fishing
  • Gillnet fishing characterization based on interviews
  • Means of production and wages in gillnet fishing
  • Environmental vulnerability
  • Conflicts
  • Concluding remarks
  • References
  • Chapter 17 Ethnoecological approaches and fishermen perception
  • Artisanal fishermen and traditional knowledge
  • The ethnoecology of the franciscana dolphin
  • Conservationist aspects
  • References
  • Chapter 18 Marine protected areas: Their potential for the conservation of the franciscana
  • Introduction
  • Primary source and analyses of MPAs across the franciscana distribution
  • Existing MPAs along the franciscana distribution
  • Management of MPAs along the franciscana distribution
  • MPAs of franciscana and the marine ecoregions of the world (MEOWs)
  • MPAs across the franciscana management areas (FMAs)
  • Future perspectives and recommendations
  • Acknowledgments
  • [Annex 18.I]
  • References
  • Chapter 19 International and regional agreements, national legislation, and public policies
  • Introduction
  • Legal framework
  • UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Regional Agreements
  • National agreements and public policies
  • Future challenges
  • References
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 494
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: June 24, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323909747
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323903479

About the Editors

Paulo Cesar Simoes-Lopes

Paulo Simões-Lopes received is PhD in Zoology from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. He has published more than 130 scientific articles in journals and specialized book chapters, in addition to four books. Dr. Simões-Lopes has experience in the zoology of marine mammals, with an emphasis on morphology and skeletal biomechanics, comparative anatomy, population and behavior ecology, and systematics of cetaceans and pinnipeds.

Affiliations and Expertise

Full Professor, Department of Ecology and Zoology, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil

Marta Jussara Cremer

Marta Cremer received her PhD in Zoology from the Federal University of Paraná. She has published more than 90 scientific journal articles, book chapters, as well as four books. Her areas of expertise include animal ecology, specializing in bioacoustics, behavior, population and biological parameters of cetaceans, as well as public policies and conservation biology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Full Professor, Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation of Marine and Coastal Tetrapods,University of the Region of Joinville, Brazil

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