Añihue Reserve

Añihue Reserve (RA) published its first scientific paper on the Identification of Peale Dolphins, together with Gian Paolo Sanino, CMMR-Leviathan director and scientific adviser of the Reserve.

Under the title of “Preliminary Results of Modified DVideo-ID technique and applied to Peale’s Dolphins, Laghenorhynchus australis (PEALE, 1848) at Añihue Reserve, CHILE” we published our first joint scientific paper, in the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) magazine.

Thanks to the extension of marine coastal and environmental diversity, the Añihue Reserve (AR) has a great potential for studying the dolphins that are sighted daily on the coast. That is why two years ago we began an ongoing effort to record and identify the individuals sighted, mostly Peale dolphins, which continues to this day with great effectiveness.

The main beach of the Reserve, called Toninas, has two rocky areas at higher altitudes, which were selected as observatories for the study of the publication, one located at the beginning: Rock 1 (R1 43 ° 47.78 'S, 72 ° 58.72' W), and another at the end: Rock 2 (R2 43 ° 48.76 'S, 72 ° 58.78' W). From there, graphic material was produced during 2011, by members of AR and collaboration of volunteers. The identification of individuals was based primarily on natural markings on the dorsal fin ("nicks") and other markings on the rest of the body, such as biting, teeth marks and / or skin pathologies.

The study concluded that “…Tonina Beach is visited by at least 68 individuals of L. australis, patrolling and foraging in very shallow waters in small groups that may fuse occasionally. Despite highly concentrated recording efforts during summer, the collected graphic material included: dolphins in all seasons; distributed among 10 of 15 possible seasonal combinations (66.67 %); with re-identified individuals in all four seasons; several re-identifications in winter of individuals sighted during summer (N=11; 26.19 %); and more than a third of the individuals (N=25) were identified between mid-autumn and mid-spring. These first results suggest that the coastal L. australis populations, at least in front of Añihue Reserve, present a high fidelity to the site not supporting previous hypothesis of significant seasonal/migratory movements for the species…”

On the other hand, “…The extremely low number of juveniles (N=5) and calves (N=1) from a total of 68 dolphins and, the high prevalence of skin diseases (N=35; 51.47 %), are a source of special concern. Their potential relationship with the local salmon farming industry, which has facilities on both coastal boundaries of the Reserve, needs to be evaluated…”

Finally, the Reserve proved to be a site suitable for long term cetacean studies even when collecting data directly from the shore, avoiding potential impacts of mobile observation platforms.

(“) Text taken from the publication


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