What we need for our species protection - dolphin projects

Help us with our species conservation projects

Species conservation, as practiced by YAQU PACHA, requires not only the commitment of local people, but also financial support to cover the costs of implementing the projects. This is very cost-intensive, especially in the long term. In Latin America, support for nature conservation from state institutions is rather rare and therefore relies primarily on species conservation organizations such as YAQU PACHA.

La Plata dolphin bottlenose dolphin

In the following list you will find the regular costs of our species protection projects. Here you can make your contribution to the protection of endangered species and you know exactly what we do with your donation, because your donation ends up exactly where you want it. Of course, you will receive a donation receipt and a certificate for your support. In addition, you will always find up-to-date information on our website about the progress of the project you are supporting.

Project rehabilitation of stranded La Plata dolphins

The La Plata dolphin - Franciscana - Toninha is the most endangered dolphin species in South America and its survival is acutely threatened. YAQU PACHA has been working to protect this dolphin species since 1996. In recent decades, the number of live strandings of La Plata dolphins has increased throughout their range.

La Plata dolphin Toninha Franciscana Pontoporia blainvillei beach Brazil

In most cases, these are newborns that require very intensive veterinary care. In order to give these animals a chance, YAQU PACHA has developed scientifically based strategies in collaboration with other institutions. Our goal is to provide these institutions with the necessary equipment to save these animals.

Here you can find out how much it costs to save these dolphins and how you can specifically help us.

Milk La Plata dolphin project Toninha Franciscana Pontoporia blainvillei

Milk for La Plata dolphin calves
A daily ration of the special rearing milk for a La Plata dolphin. This is a special rearing milk for dolphin calves and newborns, which is very high in calories and ensures sufficient supply for the dolphins even in small quantities. Since the stomachs of La Plata dolphin calves are very small, only small amounts of this milk can be fed. The animals are fed at short intervals with this special milk, which we obtain from the USA and have to import to South America.

Medicines La Plata Dolphin Franciscana Toninha

Medication for treatment of La Plata dolphins
This is equivalent to the weekly medication cost to have a rescued La Plata dolphin treated by specially trained doctors. Regular administration of the medication is critical to the dolphins' survival.

Veterinarian Franciscana Toninha

Veterinary care
Crucial to the survival of the stranded and rescued La Plata dolphins is continuous veterinary care and attention. Any deterioration in health must be detected immediately and treated appropriately by specially trained veterinarians.

Transport boxes projects La Plata Dolphin Franciscana Toninhas

Transport boxes for La Plata dolphins
In these special transport boxes the stranded and rescued La Plata dolphins can be brought to the rehabilitation station, where they are immediately examined and treated depending on the injury. The transport is done with our research vehicles, with which we also do the beach checks.

Water Basin Projects La Plata Dolphin Franciscana Toninhas

Mobile water basin with filtration system and pumps system.
These special tanks are urgently needed to care for the rescued La Plata dolphins until they can be released back into a suitable marine habitat. The water basins are equipped with a high-quality filtration system and a pumping system. This is the only way to achieve optimal water quality for the animals, which is crucial for the survival of the La Plata dolphins. The stay of the animals until recovery takes several weeks to months. The animals must be cared for around the clock until it is ensured that they can lead an independent life and are no longer dependent on human assistance.

Beach Observation Dolphins Brazil Brasil

Beach Observation on the Brazilian Coast
The beaches on the Brazilian coast are regularly searched by our teams for stranded animals. Live animals are immediately brought to our stations in special transport boxes, where they receive immediate medical attention and care. Dead stranded animals are also recovered to be examined and the cause of death determined.

Project flight census of La Plata dolphins in Uruguay

Flight Count La Plata Dolphins Uruguay Wish List Wishlist Shop Wish List

A very important part of the conservation of the La Plata dolphins are the flight counts - Aerial Surveys, which are carried out by aircraft with specially curved windows from which the animals are counted.

Wish List Flight Count Plane Uruguay

These flight counts were conducted along the coast of Uruguay in March and April 2023 and are critical for determining the population of La Plata dolphin in Uruguay.

Flight Count La Plata Dolphins Franciscana Toninhas Uruguay

In this way, population declines can be detected immediately, which is of great importance for a better assessment of the species' situation. The results of the aerial counts are shared with the partner institutions involved in the project. Regular aerial counts are important to detect population fluctuations and to develop new strategies for the protection of this most threatened dolphin species in South America. A strong decline, as already observed in some populations of the La Plata dolphin further north, must be considered alarming.

Population size estimate - Lahille's bottlenose dolphin

For more than 20 years, YAQU PACHA has supported species conservation projects to save the Lahille's bottlenose dolphin. The species' range is restricted to the coastal waters of southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Populations are small and fragmented and subject to a number of serious threats, including heavy pollution, which increasingly causes skin diseases, and in some areas, bycatch. Recent data indicate that the species is in danger of extinction in many areas. The total population is estimated at no more than 600 individuals.

Lahille's bottlenose dolphin Brazil Wishlist Shop

YAQU PACHA's dolphin projects aim to monitor the different populations over years in order to assess their status and detect alarming changes.
To achieve this goal, regular control trips with our research boat and aerial photography are necessary for population control and photo identification of the dolphins. But also regular beach checks with vehicles are necessary to determine the cause of death of stranded dolphins.

Wishlist Shop Projects Bottlenose Dolphin Brazil Boat

Observation and photo-identification of Lahille's bottlenose dolphins in Lagoa dos Patos in Brazil with our research boat Charlotte. These trips take place regularly and are very important for the detection of the population in Lagoa dos Patos. The photo-ID method is based on the distinguishing feature of the dorsal fin of the dolphins, as this is different for each animal. In this way, individual animals can be identified and the total population can be estimated. With the help of a database, the animals can be recognized and sightings can be registered.

Wishlist Shop Drone DJI Projects Brazil

Drone DJI Mavic 3 Classic - New research drone DJI Mavic 3 Classic for photo shooting and flight counting.
This state-of-the-art drone system is equipped with a high-resolution Hasselblad camera and provides crisp images of the animals. It is used by our team to monitor behavior and, in some cases, fishing activities in the research area. The drone can be launched and landed from the research boat. High-resolution video recordings of the animals are also possible.

Wishlist Camera Projects Brazil Bottlenose Dolphin

New camera
Camera systems are essential to any research project. In our projects, these camera systems are mainly used to obtain accurate images for photo identification, but also to monitor the evolution of skin lesions over time. The dolphins are photographed and their dorsal fin/skin region is registered in the database and compared to existing images of the animals.

Volunteers Brazil

Catering for our volunteers
To strengthen our teams in South America we are regularly looking for and need volunteers. These volunteers already have professional experience and training and are important for the work in our species conservation projects. The goal of YAQU PACHA is to employ these professionals in our projects on a long-term basis.

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