Marine Mammal Care

Conservation and Research Priorities for the Endangered Lahille’s Bottlenose and Franciscana Dolphins in Southern Brazil

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Conservation and Research Priorities for the Endangered Lahille’s Bottlenose and Franciscana Dolphins in Southern Brazil

Dr. Eduardo Secchi will describe the benefits of continued ecological research, priorities, stakeholder communication and the potential of strengthening the human dimension for the conservation of two coastal small cetacean species, the franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) and Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus gephyreus) in southern Brazil. Research and conservation efforts for both species were based on long-term studies and collaboration among several institutions from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Entanglement in gillnets is the greatest threat to the viability of both species. 

Over the years there has been a notable lack of integration between social and scientific dimensions in trying to regulate fisheries to protect endangered species. Conservation strategies that result in legal restrictions are often developed in a top-down approach passing over the fishing community’s necessities. A project has been created to contribute for social engagement and to build a change in the educational policy of the schools around fishing communities in Rio Grande, Southern Brazil. It is expected, in the medium to long term, that community engagement will help to achieve conservation and social goals.


ABout Dr. Eduardo secchi

Eduardo Secchi is Brazilian, graduated in Oceanography at the Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG) in 1991. Masters in Biological Oceanography (FURG, 1999) and PhD in Zoology (University of Otago,New Zealand, 2006) and Postdoctoral Fellow at Flinders University (Australia – 2014). Associate Professor and leader of the Marine Megafauna Ecology and Conservation Lab./Institute of Oceanography at FURG since 2006. Supervises undergraduate and graduate students. Scientific leader of several research projects in estuarine and marine environments in subtropical and Antarctic regions. Published over 160 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Received the “Oliver Persons Award” (American Society for Mammalogy – 2007) for his performance in research and conservation and the formation of human resources. President of the Latin American Society for Aquatic Mammals-SOLAMAC (2015-2016). Member of the Cetacean Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 1997. Level 1 Research Fellow of the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development. Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Graduate studies at FURG since 2017. Currently Chair of the Conservation Committee of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.