Below you will find the list of distinct research efforts we have been conducting, with a summarized description and a link to a photo gallery when available.
Projeto Atlantis was established in March 1995. The main aim was to investigate cetaceans in the southern coast of Sao Paulo state and the northern coast of the Parana state, southeastern Brazil. Efforts have been applied to investigate mortality through strandings (since 1995) and incidental captures along the shore (since 2004), and population parameters of Guiana dolphins in estuarine waters through the application of the photo-identification technique (since 1996). With dead dolphins washed ashore and brought by local fishermen, natural history studies have been conducted, with emphasis to feeding habits, reproductive parameters, growth, contamination, genetics, and stock identity. Beginning in the Cananeia estuary (Sao Paulo) in 1996, the photo-identification efforts rendered a catalog composed by 199 individuals. From 2006 to 2009, a survey effort was conducted in the southern portion of the same estuary (in the northern coast of the Parana state), rendering a catalog composed by 183 individuals. Abundance estimates, estimation of individual home ranges and descriptions of the characteristics of group size and social organization were the main ecological investigations. You can find publications on most gathered results in the publications section. Photographs on this project efforts can be found in the photo gallery. Feel free to download!
Cetaceans use sound for communication and to find prey, predators, obstacles and congeners in aquatic environments. Sound waves can travel five times faster in aquatic elements when compared to sound propagation in the air. Thus, recording cetacean sound emissions turned to an important area of investigation known as bioacoustics. One can record sounds from a small boat or even from land with a simple hydrophone connected to a small digital recorder, or using fixed hydrophones in the wild to monitor sound emissions 24/7. This specific area of investigation is known as passive acoustic monitoring (PAM). Our team intends to establish a long-term programme along the coast of Sao Paulo state to monitor the seasonal occurrence of cetaceans. The aim is to start working on PAM from early 2014 on. Soon we will share photographs in our photo gallery.
Oceanographic cruises (Cruzeiros Oceanograficos, in Portuguese) have been conducted since 2012 to map the occurrence of cetaceans along the coast of Sao Paulo state. Crews composed by 4-5 researchers plus two navigators have been surveying the coast in two distinct directions (north and south). Each cruise lasts three days, covering half of the coastline in waters up to 40m depth. Foto-identification has been used to catalog distinct indviduals and to evaluate their movements along time and space. Skin and blubber samples have also been collected through biopsy samplings to investigate genetic biodiversity, stock identity (both using skin) and contamination (using blubber). The main species found are bottlenose, Atlantic spotted, and rough-toothed dolphins, as well as Bryde's whales. Records of orcas and right whales were also reported. This research effort is sponsered by the Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo (FAPESP). You may check photographs on this research effort in our photo gallery. Have fun!
Alcatrazes is an archipelago placed in the northern coast of Sao Paulo state where a fantastic marine biodiversity can be found, including cetaceans. Atlantic spotted, botllenose and rough-toothed dolphins can be commonly found year round, as well as Bryde's whales. In winter and spring, humpback whales have also been spotted in their seasonal migration. Since April 2011, our team has been investing in cruises to map the seasonal occurrence of cetaceans in the nearby areas of the Alcatrazes Archipelago. Cruises have also been conducted in a specific programme involving recreational boats with people who wants to protect that marvellous ecosystem. Our main objective is to help governamental agencies to establish the first national marine conservation unit in Southern and southeastern Brazil. You can check amazing photographs of the Alcatrazes Archipelago and the sighted cetacean species in our photo gallery.