M.S. Student, Universidada Federal do Amazonas
Location: Madeira River, Brazilian Amazon
Research: Taxonomic Status and Conservation Assessment of the Madeira River's Pink Dolphins
Species/Topic: pink river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)
Abstract: The pink river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) is widely distributed in the Amazon and Orinoco River basins. It also occurs in the Bolivian sub-basin which is separated from the Amazon River basin by a series of 12 rapids between Abuña and Porto Velho on the upper Madeira River, and it occurs within the rapids region as well. The project plans to conduct a survey of the dolphins in the rapids region, non-invasively collect epithelial tissue samples, and in the laboratory conduct molecular conservation genetic analyses in order to understand the taxonomic status of the pink river dolphins of the upper Madeira River, and based on the results propose conservation and management strategies for these imminently threatened animals.