Nav: Home

Exeter researchers help protect Peru's river dolphins

May 16, 2017

River dolphins and Amazonian manatees in Peru will benefit from new protection thanks to a plan developed with help from the University of Exeter. Researchers from the university's Penryn Campus in Cornwall worked with Peruvian officials for more than two years to develop a new protection law.

The dolphins and manatees face threats from climate change, fishing and loss of habitat due to dams, pollution, noise and boat traffic. The new law establishes conservation and monitoring of habitats, and aims to bring about better management and more research.

"These species are only found in the Amazon," said Dr Joanna Alfaro, who completed her PhD at Exeter and continues to work closely with the university.

"Neighbouring countries like Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador already had legislation to protect them, but Peru did not. "To bring about this legislation, we worked in close collaboration with the Peruvian government, with support from WWF Peru, and held five workshops with local authorities."

The new law -- called the National Action Plan for the Conservation of River Dolphins and the Amazonian Manatee -- has been approved by Peru's Ministry of Production.

It will protect pink and grey river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis) and the Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis) -- all of which are of great importance to the aquatic ecosystems of the Amazon.

Dr Alfaro worked with fellow Exeter researchers Elizabeth Campbell and Jeff Mangel to help create the law.

Campbell said: "We are delighted to have been a part in the development of this law, and are excited to see the plan in full implementation.

"It was a long process but it showed how government agencies can work with non-governmental academics, private companies and others." Professor Brendan Godley, of the University of Exeter, who supervised the underpinning research, added: "We believe this action plan will aid conservation and reduce the threats that dolphins and manatees face in the Amazon today.

"It is a great example where research was used as a baseline for the legal framework to protect biodiversity."
-end-
The project was funded by the Darwin Initiative, a UK government grants scheme that helps to protect biodiversity and the natural environment.

University of Exeter

Related Climate Change Articles:

The black forest and climate change
Silver and Douglas firs could replace Norway spruce in the long run due to their greater resistance to droughts.
For some US counties, climate change will be particularly costly
A highly granular assessment of the impacts of climate change on the US economy suggests that each 1°Celsius increase in temperature will cost 1.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product, on average.
Climate change label leads to climate science acceptance
A new Cornell University study finds that labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science.
Was that climate change?
A new four-step 'framework' aims to test the contribution of climate change to record-setting extreme weather events.
It's more than just climate change
Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations.
Climate change scientists should think more about sex
Climate change can have a different impact on male and female fish, shellfish and other marine animals, with widespread implications for the future of marine life and the production of seafood.
Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior
A new University of Washington study finds that one of Alaska's most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change, which could impact the ecology of northern lakes that already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate.
Uncertainties related to climate engineering limit its use in curbing climate change
Climate engineering refers to the systematic, large-scale modification of the environment using various climate intervention techniques.
Public holds polarized views about climate change and trust in climate scientists
There are gaping divisions in Americans' views across every dimension of the climate debate, including causes and cures for climate change and trust in climate scientists and their research, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
The psychology behind climate change denial
In a new thesis in psychology, Kirsti Jylhä at Uppsala University has studied the psychology behind climate change denial.

Related Climate Change Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...