What are the conservation needs of the fresh water river dolphins living in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve?

River dolphins around the world face special challenges from the activities of people living and working along the rivers where the dolphins live. Development and the *degradation of their habitat from pollution and irrigation are becoming greater problems all the time. The dolphins living in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve are also affected by these problems.

*Data must be collected so that scientists can understand the behavior of these dolphins and what their habitat needs are. More information is needed on the effects that human activities have on dolphin behavior as well. With this information people can begin to develop conservation measures that will protect the river dolphins.

In order to determine the conservation needs of the dolphins, there are other questions that must be answered first. They are:


How large is the dolphin population in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (Abundance)?


What is normal river dolphin behavior (Behavior)?


What habitats do river dolphins prefer (Habitat)?


What impact, if any, do the activities of people who live in the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve have on river dolphin behavior (Human Impact)?


How do seasonal changes in the river dolphins' habitat affect their behavior (Seasonal Changes)?

Only when these questions have been answered will we know how to protect the river dolphins. Conservation measures can then be put into place that protect them. These measures must also allow the people who live along side of the dolphins to continue to earn a living in order to support their families as well.

Each of the questions above will lead you to a piece of the project research. You can participate by thinking about the questions, looking at the daily data and doing a little *data analysis yourself.


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