Table of Contents
ISRN Biodiversity
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 819827, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/819827
Research Article

Rediscovery of Cameroon Dolphin, the Gulf of Guinea Population of Sousa teuszii (Kükenthal, 1892)

1Association Camerounaise de Biologie Marine (ACBM), BP 52, Ayos, Cameroon
2CERECOMA, Specialized Research Center for Marine Ecosystems, c/o Institute of Agricultural Research for Development, P.O. Box 219, Kribi, Cameroon
3Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (ISH) at Yabassi, University of Douala, P.O. Box 2701, Douala, Cameroon
4Département de Zoologie et de Biologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Lomé, Lomé, Togo
5Conservation and Research of West African Aquatic Mammals (COREWAM), c/o Department of Marine and Fisheries Science, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG99, Legon, Ghana
6COREWAM-Senegal, Musée de la Mer de Gorée, IFAN-CH.A.D, Université de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal
7Peruvian Centre for Cetacean Research (CEPEC), Lima 20, Peru

Received 30 December 2013; Accepted 18 February 2014; Published 23 March 2014

Academic Editors: M. Cords, B. Crother, and P. V. Lindeman

Copyright © 2014 Isidore Ayissi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Since the 1892 discovery of the Atlantic humpback dolphin Sousa teuszii (Delphinidae), a species endemic to coastal western Africa, from a skull collected in Cameroon, not a single record has been documented from the country or neighbouring countries. Increasing concern about the continued existence of the Gulf of Guinea population of S. teuszii or “Cameroon dolphin” prompted an exploratory survey in May 2011. Shore-based effort, on foot (30.52 km; 784 min), yielded no observations. Small boat-based surveys (259.1 km; 1008 min) resulted in a single documented sighting of ca. 10 (8–12) Cameroon dolphins in shallow water off an open sandy shore near Bouandjo in Cameroon's South Region. The combination of a low encounter rate of 3.86 individuals (100 km)−1 suggesting low abundance and evidence of both fisheries-caused mortality and of habitat encroachment raises concerns about the Cameroon dolphin's long-term conservation prospect. Our results add to indications concerning several other S. teuszii populations that the IUCN status designation of the species as “Vulnerable” may understate its threat level.