Age and growth of franciscana Pontoporia blainvillei (Cetacea: Pontoporiidae) incidentally caught off southern Brazil and northern Argentina

Botta, Silvina; Secchi, Eduardo Resende; Muelbert, Monica Mathias Costa; Danilewicz, Daniel; Negri, Maria Fernanda; Cappozzo, Humberto Luis; Hohn, Aleta


Age and length data of 291 franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei)incidentally captured on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul State (RS), southern Brazil, were used to fit growth curves using Gompertz and Von Bertalanffy growth models. A small sample of franciscanas (N ¼ 35) from Buenos Aires Province (BA), Argentina, were used to see if there are apparent growth differences between the populations. Male and female franciscana samples from both areas were primarily (78–85%) ,4 years of age. The Von Bertalanffy growth model with a data set that excluded animals ,1 year of age provided the best fit to data. Based on this model, dolphins from the RS population reached asymptotic length at 136.0 cm and 158.4 cm,for males and females, respectively. No remarkable differences were observed in the growth trajectories of males and females between the RS and BA populations.

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