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Reinvigorating conservation efforts for the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii): A brief progress report
Caroline Weir, Ruth Leeney, Tim Collins
International Whaling Commission
The Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii) is endemic to nearshore, tropical waters along the west coast of Africa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, with a contemporary occurrence documented in 12 range states (Weir and Collins, 2015). Its conservation status has been of significant concern for several decades, with its nearshore habitat preference overlapping extensively with anthropogenic pressures including fishing, habitat degradation and loss, and hunting. The limited available data suggest that by-catch in fishing gear and deliberate hunting are significant causes of mortality in some areas. In recent years, the Atlantic humpback dolphin has been relisted to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Appendix I and to Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List (Collins et al., 2017) to reflect the increasing concerns over its status. Nevertheless, very little has been achieved to date with regard to progressing effective conservation and management measures for the species. This document briefly summarises several recent initiatives to drive progress, and makes recommendations towards prioritising where conservation efforts should focus in the short-term for S. teuszii.