The Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii) in Gabon and Congo: cause for optimism or concern?


Collins, T., Boumba, Richard, Thonio, J., Parnell, R., VanLeeuwe, Hilde, Ngouessono, S and Rosenbaum, H.



Secondary Title

Document presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission






Gabon, Congo, sousa teuszii, humpback dolphin, Atlantic humpback dolphin, conservation, bycatch, Threat assessment


Conclusions: Humpback dolphins in Gabon and Congo apparently routinely occur on open coastlines. All sightings made during this work were made within 1 km of shore and should be protected by either the coastal fisheries buffer exclusion zone or the protected waters of national parks. The degree to which the species is afforded protection within these areas remains unstudied. Further assessment of any threats and other impacts is critical, particularly given the apparent low density of groups and the general paucity of data for the species. Given low human population densities and an abundance of relatively undisturbed habitat in Gabon and northern Congo this area may represent some of the best remaining habitat for the species anywhere in its range. The relatively high sighting rate is encouraging, as are occasional sightings large groups. However, bycatches and evidence of a dolphin meat in the bushmeat trade are significant cause for alarm, particularly as demand for fish from cities increases.