Records of franciscana (<i>Pontoporia blainvillei</i>) from the coastal waters of São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil
AbstractLittle is known about franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) in the coastal waters of São Paulo State (~23-25° S), Brazil. This is due to the lack of long-term research efforts directed towards this species. The data presented in this paper reflect the efforts of three research groups in collecting information from marine mammal stranding events along portions of São Paulo State coast. Data from 109 records, mostly of single stranding events (n=98), are presented. Ten individuals that were captured incidentally by gillnets were obtained from local fishermen. One calf was caught by a swimmer in shallow waters and released after four hours. The number of reported strandings was not evenly distributed throughout the year with more strandings being reported during summer, spring and winter months than in the autumn. Calves (n=28) were reported year-round with no significant seasonal differences. Six live strandings of calves were reported. Five of these calves died shortly after being held in small pools and one was released alive in coastal waters. Because of recent efforts in research and recovering of a relatively high number of dead animals, the easy accessibility to carcasses and local logistics, the central region of São Paulo State coast, known as 'Baixada Santista', offers the best potential to better develop P. blainvillei research.
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