Behavior and Ecology of Endangered Species Living Together: Long-Term Monitoring of Resident Sympatric Dolphin Populations

  • Marta J. CremerEmail author
  • Annelise C. Holz
  • Camila M. Sartori
  • Beatriz Schulze
  • Renan L. Paitach
  • Paulo C. Simões-Lopes
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 22)


Sympatric species may exploit the same resources, potentially acting as competitors when resources are limited. For cetaceans, ecological separation between sympatric species is based on differences in diet and habitat use. The fransiscana dolphin Pontoporia blainvillei (Pontoporiidae) and the Guiana dolphin Sotalia guianesis (Delphinidae) live in sympatry along the southern and southeastern Brazilian coast, but Babitonga Bay is the only estuarine region in which these species occur throughout the year and live in direct sympatry. Twenty years of data on these populations give some indication of how this ecologically similar species share the same habitat. That coexistence is facilitated through differences in diet, distribution, and habitat use patterns. The Guiana dolphin is probably dominant in the niche partitioning system in Babitonga Bay. This fact, combined with small franciscana population size, makes the latter highly vulnerable to local extinction.


Pontoporia blainvillei Sotalia guianensis Population Southern Brazil Conservation 



The authors are grateful to the staff members at the Laboratório de Nectologia for assistance with field studies. Financial support was provided by the Universidade da Região de Joinville (UNIVILLE), the Fundação O Boticário de Proteção à Natureza, CNPq, Capes, and FAPESC. Studies between 2010–2015 were supported by the Projeto Toninhas/UNIVILLE, sponsored by Petrobras through the Programa Petrobras Ambiental.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta J. Cremer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Annelise C. Holz
    • 1
  • Camila M. Sartori
    • 1
  • Beatriz Schulze
    • 1
    • 2
  • Renan L. Paitach
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paulo C. Simões-Lopes
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratório de Nectologia – Centro de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade da Região de Joinville (UNIVILLE) – Unidade São Francisco do SulSão Francisco do SulBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia – Centro de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) – Campus Universitário, s/n, Departamento MIP – Córrego GrandeFlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos (LAMAQ) – Centro de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) – Campus Universitário, s/n, Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia – Córrego GrandeFlorianópolisBrazil

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