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."
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:

A CERN for climate change
In a Perspective article appearing in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tim Palmer (Oxford University), and Bjorn Stevens (Max Planck Society), critically reflect on the present state of Earth system modelling.
Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia's most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).
Believing in climate change doesn't mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds
Notre Dame researchers found that although coastal homeowners may perceive a worsening of climate change-related hazards, these attitudes are largely unrelated to a homeowner's expectations of actual home damage.
Older forests resist change -- climate change, that is
Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity, new research finds.
Could climate change cause infertility?
A number of plant and animal species could find it increasingly difficult to reproduce if climate change worsens and global temperatures become more extreme -- a stark warning highlighted by new scientific research.
Predicting climate change
Thomas Crowther, ETH Zurich identifies long-disappeared forests available for restoration across the world.
Historical climate important for soil responses to future climate change
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Amsterdam, examined how 18 years of drought affect the billions of vital bacteria that are hidden in the soil beneath our feet.
Can forests save us from climate change?
Additional climate benefits through sustainable forest management will be modest and local rather than global.
From crystals to climate: 'Gold standard' timeline links flood basalts to climate change
Princeton geologists used tiny zircon crystals found in volcanic ash to rewrite the timeline for the eruptions of the Columbia River flood basalts, a series of massive lava flows that coincided with an ancient global warming period 16 million years ago.
Think pink for a better view of climate change
A new study says pink noise may be the key to separating out natural climate variability from climate change that is influenced by human activity.
More Climate Change News and Climate Change Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Accessing Better Health
Essential health care is a right, not a privilege ... or is it? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can give everyone access to a healthier way of life, despite who you are or where you live. Guests include physician Raj Panjabi, former NYC health commissioner Mary Bassett, researcher Michael Hendryx, and neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#544 Prosperity Without Growth
The societies we live in are organised around growth, objects, and driving forward a constantly expanding economy as benchmarks of success and prosperity. But this growing consumption at all costs is at odds with our understanding of what our planet can support. How do we lower the environmental impact of economic activity? How do we redefine success and prosperity separate from GDP, which politicians and governments have focused on for decades? We speak with ecological economist Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Propserity, and author of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab