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Image: Peter Flood

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WDC supports innovative tool for dolphin research in South America

WDC has played a key role in supporting the development of a new acoustic tool that will be used to find out more about one of South America’s rarest species – the Franciscana dolphin.

Working closely with colleagues from other organizations such as Fundacion Cethus, who WDC has funded for many years, the project focused on the dolphins found in the Rio Negro estuary in Patagonia, Argentina.

As well as the research being carried out, education and outreach in local schools and communities, as well as the involvement of whale-watch operators, has helped towards establishing a regional protected area for the dolphins.

The new acoustic tool is able to identify the echolocation clicks of the dolphins and differentiate between adults and calves for the first time. The hope is that it will now be used by other Franciscana researchers to help build an estimate of the dolphin population across its range, providing vital information for those involved in efforts to help with its future conservation.

Find out more about the Franciscana acoustic tool (free for researchers to use).

WDC is at the forefront of innovative non-invasive whale and dolphin research. Find out more about our Bharathi Viswanathan annual award or make a donation to help support our work.