Help us create a conservation plan that will protect the fresh water river dolphins living in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. There is a special challenge as this plan must also benefit the people who live in the area.

Before we can determine the best possible plan however, we need to know a great deal more about the dolphins and how local human behavior affects them. This research project is designed to do just that.

Tamara McGuire, the researcher for this study, will teach us how to collect data about the behavior of two species of river dolphins, the bufeo colorado, often just called "boto" and the tucuxi, called the "bufeo gris". Their scientific names are Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis. The goal of the River Dolphin Research Project is to add to the body of background information that is already known about these dolphins in order to gain an understanding of wild river dolphin populations and their habitat needs.

Inia geoffrensis or commonly known as the "boto"
Sotalia fluviatilis or commonly known as the "tucuxi"

This expedition is a part of an ongoing research project in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, in the northern part of Peru. During the eight days of our study in August 1999 we lived on a 76-foot, three-deck wooden riverboat named the Delfin. In November 2000 we again will be living on a boat but this time for two weeks and it will be much smaller. The boat will travel the Maranon, Samiria and Yanayacu rivers as we collect daily data about the dolphins and their *habitat. Sometimes we will board much smaller skiffs to investigate the narrow tributaries of these rivers. Each day we will be using a variety of scientific tools with which to collect our data.

We certainly will encounter other interesting animals and plants along the way and meet some of the local people. These daily highlights will make our journey even more rewarding. You can email us with any questions you may have while we are on the journey. You can read our answers to your questions on the Q & A page.

If you need more information you can always email an expert. You can also find out how to avoid breaking the law and how to protect endangered species when buying animal and plants products if you are traveling to another country. Buyer Beware! tells you about the laws and what products to avoid.

Remember: You can find the meaning of any word with an * in front of it by clicking on it, or by using the glossary link at the bottom of each page.


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