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Reproductive biology of female franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) from Argentina

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2015

María V. Panebianco*
Affiliation:
Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’ (MACN-CONICET), División Mastozoología, Av. Ángel Gallardo 479 (C1405DJR), Cuidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Av. Rivadavia 1917 (C1033AAJ), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Daniela L. Del Castillo
Affiliation:
Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’ (MACN-CONICET), División Mastozoología, Av. Ángel Gallardo 479 (C1405DJR), Cuidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Av. Rivadavia 1917 (C1033AAJ), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Pablo E. Denuncio
Affiliation:
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Av. Rivadavia 1917 (C1033AAJ), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Funes 3350, (7600) Mar del Plata, Argentina
María F. Negri
Affiliation:
Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’ (MACN-CONICET), División Mastozoología, Av. Ángel Gallardo 479 (C1405DJR), Cuidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Av. Rivadavia 1917 (C1033AAJ), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC), Bernardo Houssay 200 (9410), Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Ricardo Bastida
Affiliation:
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Av. Rivadavia 1917 (C1033AAJ), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Funes 3350, (7600) Mar del Plata, Argentina
Mauricio Failla
Affiliation:
Fundación Cethus, Monteverde 3695 (B1636AEM), Olivos, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Alfredo D. Vitullo
Affiliation:
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Av. Rivadavia 1917 (C1033AAJ), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Centro de Estudios Biomédicos, Biotecnológicos, Ambientales y Diagnóstico (CEBBAD), Universidad Maimónides, Hidalgo 775 (C1405BDB), 7mo piso, Cuidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Humberto L. Cappozzo
Affiliation:
Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’ (MACN-CONICET), División Mastozoología, Av. Ángel Gallardo 479 (C1405DJR), Cuidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Av. Rivadavia 1917 (C1033AAJ), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Fundación de Historia Natural Félix de Azara, Universidad Maimónides, Hidalgo 775 (C1405BDB), 7mo piso, Cuidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
*
Correspondence should be addressed to:M.V. Panebianco, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’ (MACN-CONICET), División Mastozoología, Av. Ángel Gallardo 479 (C1405DJR), Cuidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina email: panebianco@macn.gov.ar

Abstract

The ovaries of 31 franciscana dolphins (19 immature and 12 mature) by-caught in coastal waters of Argentina were examined to describe the reproductive biology. No ovarian polarity was found, both ovaries were functional and showed similar amounts of corpora. A positive trend was observed between the number of corpora and age (3–8 years old), indicating that ovulation scars are detectable for at least 4 years, and a ovulation rate of 0.39 was found for the sampled population. Age, length and weight at sexual maturity were estimated at 3.92 ± 0.09 years, 133.47 ± 11.11 cm and 32.68 ± 2.72 kg, respectively. The annual pregnancy rate was 0.36 ± 0.02 (95% CI = 0.10–0.65). The proportion of lactating and resting females found were 0.25 and 0.33 respectively. These outcomes constitute the first reproductive and life history information on franciscana dolphins from the southernmost population and are important in relation with adequate conservation management plans for this small cetacean.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2015 

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