2,453Grants to

1,550(Sub)Species

0% of this project has been implemented.

Start Date
January 1, 2022
End Date
May 1, 2024

Project Summary

The Atlantic humpback dolphin lives in shallow nearshore waters along the Atlantic coast of Africa. Confirmed records of the species are available in only 13 of the 19 countries within the species’ range, including Guinea. While in many countries, records are limited to only a handful of reported strandings or opportunistic sightings, surveys conducted by international and Guinean scientists in 2012, 2015, and 2017 indicate that there is at least one population present along Guinea’s northern coastline, with a minimum of  47 animals individual dolphins identified. The species is designated as Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened species.  The main threat to the species is accidental catch in fishing nets and other gear.

This project will assess the distribution, habitat preferences, and abundance of Atlantic humpback dolphin in Guinea. Noting its key habitats, the study will also carefully document the threats to the species and work with Guinean stakeholders to develop recommendations to minimize these threats to help the dolphins continue survive. Once more is known about the status of dolphin in this area, efforts will be made to collaborate with local communities to conserve it into the long-term future.


Objectives

ResearchConduct systematic boat-based and interview surveys to document the species’ distribution, habitat preferences, and threats in Guinea, establishing a baseline that will allow assessment of population trends into the future.

Outreach: Collaborate with local communities, particularly fishers, to minimize the threat of accidentally catching the dolphin in fishing gear, and  collaborate with relevant government and industry stakeholders to raise awareness of the species’ conservation needs and measures that can be taken to protect habitat and mitigate the impacts of coastal development and other human activiites.


Key Documents



Project location - Guinea, Africa

Field Reports

Conservation assessment of the Atlantic humpback dolphin in Guinea

February 28, 2022

The first boat-based surveys will be conducted in the coastal waters of north-western Guinea during in June 2022. The team will include international scientists from the CCAHD with extensive experience in nearshore surveys for endangered cetacean species, ecologists from Biotope, who are hosting the project, and scientists from Guinean research institutes.  Surveys will focus on a systematic coverage of the  nearshore waters between Kamsar and the Tristao islands to document the dolphins’ distribution and habitat preferences, collecting data on depth, temperature, salinity, and turbidity at regular intervals. In addition, the team will conduct photo-identification studies: Each individual dolphin encountered is photographed and catalogued with a unique ID based on recognizable features of its dorsal fin. This catalogue is used to generate abundance estimates, and better understand dolphins’ movements, range, residency patterns and social structures. The surveys will also document human activity that may impact the dolphins or their habitat, including fishing, aquaculture, vessel traffic and mangrove clearing. They are recording and mapping other important wildlife observations in Guinea too, including manatees and turtles.

Project news will be reported on this page and for further information see the team’s website available here.


Jan '22: Atlantic humpback dolphin project kicks-off in Guinea

January 1, 2022

The Consortium for the Conservation of Atlantic Humpback Dolphin (CCAHD) and Biotope are joining forces in Guinea to gather baseline data on the dolphin and assemble local talent and expertise to ensure the long-term survival of this endangered species. The Atlantic humpback dolphin is listed as Critically Endangered across west Africa; however, the size of the population in Guinea is mostly unknown because research has not been conducted here since 2015. This project and its partners stand to transform our understanding of AHD in the country.

Project news will be reported on this page and on the team’s website available here.