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Individual identification and habitat use of the estuarine dolphin Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea: Delphinidae) in Cananéia, south-eastern Brazil, using video images

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 March 2008

L.V. de Oliveira*
Instituto de Pesquisas Cananéia—IPeC, Rua Tristāo Lobo, 199, Centro Cananéia, SP, CEP, 11990-000, Brazil
E.L.A. Monteiro-Filho
Instituto de Pesquisas Cananéia—IPeC, Rua Tristāo Lobo, 199, Centro Cananéia, SP, CEP, 11990-000, Brazil Universidade Federal do Paraná—UFPR, Centro Politécnico, Departamento de Zoologia, Laboratório de Biologia e Ecologia de Vertebrados. Caixa Postal 19020, Curitiba, PR, Cep: 81531-970, Brazil
Correspondence should be addressed to: L.V. de Oliveira, Instituto de Pesquisas Cananéia—IPeC, Universidade Federal do Paraná—UFPR, Centro Politécnico, Departamento de Zoologia, Laboratório de Biologia e Ecologia de Vertebrados, Caixa Postal 19020, Curitiba, PR, Cep: 81531-970, Brazil email:


Individual identification using Hi8 video images was tested on the population of estuarine dolphins, Sotalia guianensis that inhabit the Cananéia estuary, south-eastern Brazil. Between June 2001 and August 2002, 25 different dolphins were identified by nicks on the dorsal fin (80%) and by the association of cuts and scratches on the dorsal fin and the body's dorsal region (20%). The existent marks were used to create an identification key to ease the matching between dolphins. The animals were present on 100% of the sampled days, and some of them were repeatedly registered at the same sector in the area, suggesting that although they occupy an extensive area, they use it in an intended way. When compared to researches that used photographs to identify cetaceans, the video images showed some loss of information, nevertheless the analysis could be done without impairment of results, therefore this method proved to be efficient.

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2008

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