2,274Grants to


Commerson´s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 0925516

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 0925516) - Commerson´s dolphin  - Awarded $20,000 on April 07, 2011

Centro Nacional Patagónico is a multidisciplinary research center at the CONICET (National Research Council of Argentina) established in 1972 with the objective carrying on scientific studies in marine and terrestrial biology, ecology, geology, meteorology, chemical pollution, physical oceanography, global change, Patagonian history, archaeology and anthropology. Today 60 scientists and 220 professionals and technicians develop duties at CENPAT. It is also base for Ph.D. students at different universities. The geographic area covered by CENPAT includes terrestrial and marine ecosystems in continental Patagonia and the adjacent sea (more than 2,000km of coast and 1million km2). See: www.cenpat.edu.ar. This proposal is based in my experience working in marine ecosystems of the Southwestern Atlantic since the early 80´. I have a background in marine ecology, population dynamics, interactions between wildlife with fisheries and tourism and marine protected areas in Patagonia. For my Ph.D. I studied the population dynamics of South American sea lions in Patagonia. I also studied the interactions of franciscana dolphins with artisanal fisheries in Argentina and Uruguay. After my Ph.D. at the University of Buenos Aires in 1988, I leaded a group of students whose main goal was to study the interactions between sea lions, fur seals, dusky and Commerson´s dolphins with fisheries and tourism. During this process, 18 Undergraduate Thesis and 8 Ph.D theses were carried out under my advice. My former students in the 90´s started to co-advise with me new students. At present 8 more Ph.D Thesis are in due curse. During the last 10 years we investigated the behavioral ecology of small cetaceans and the impact of tourist boats on dolphin herds at the request of the Province of Chubut. The output of these researches is a set of management regulations for the dolphin-watching activities. I have also coordinated the Wildlife Sector for survey teams during the GEF Patagonian Coastal Zone Management Plan in 92-97 (up to 60 people) (PNUD/ARG/92/G31). During that time I have also organized and carried out several international meetings and workshops. I was also involved in planning and carrying out aerial surveys in southern Brazil for the Franciscana dolphin in 1996 and in the Mediterranean region of Spain (1999-2002) as external consultant to the University of Valencia. I have also been Vice-Director of CENPAT from July-1998 to December-2000. I have leaded the following international projects: a) UNEP 1992 Bilateral Project for Uruguay and Argentina; b) GEF 1992-1997, Wildlife Coordinator for the PCZMP; c) Spanish Agency for International Cooperation 1996 to 1998. Regarding my experience within IUCN, I have been member of the Cetacean Specialist Group since 1987 (SSC, IUCN) and South American Coordinator of CSG since 1997 to present. I co-authored the Action Plan for Cetacean Conservation for the period 2002-2010 (www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/actionplans/cetaceans/cetaceans.pdf) as part of my duties. At the same time with another group of South American colleagues I investigated the status of aquatic mammals in South America and set the priorities for research and conservation for the region for the CMS.

Project 0925516 location - Argentina, South America