Golfo Dulce is among the best preserved marine habitats within the Osa Peninsula’s marine ecosystems. Since 2005, researchers have been collecting baseline data on the pantropical spotted dolphin and bottlenose dolphin and migratory humpback whales. Findings suggest that the reduced circulation of water masses in and out of the gulf increases the sensitivity of Golfo Dulce as a key marine habitat.
Now, with your help, researchers are conducting systematic behavioral sampling to determine feeding strategies and preferred prey type of dolphins and assess the time and energy invested in relation to temporal and environmental variables. Spatial and acoustic assessment of humpback whales in Golfo Dulce are also revealing the importance of this marine habitat for reproduction and calving.
Information gathered will help to assess the conservation status of cetaceans in the Golfo Dulce, and will support the design, establishment and implementation of management plans for the conservation of marine biodiversity. The project’s ultimate goal is to consolidate the establishment of Marine Protected Area (MPAs) for cetaceans. This achievement will support the needs of all stakeholders, since the preservation of the beauty and health of the marine ecosystem in Golfo Dulce, including local dolphin and whale populations, will continue to attract tourists and generate income for the local and national community.
Meet the Scientists
Lenin E. Oviedo Correa
Center for Cetacean Research of Costa Rica (CEIC)
Lenin E. Oviedo Correa has nine years of experience directing or assisting in numerous marine biodiversity and habitat analyses projects, in his home country Venezuela, Costa Rica and Africa with emphasis on cetacean ecology. He has also been working with populations in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Tropical Pacific. Currently he has published ten peer-reviewed publications, with five more in the evaluation stage (Aquatic Mammals, Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK, Revista de Biología Tropical, Cetacean Research and Management).
His research focus is on habitat assessments through behavior, trophic and spatial ecology of small odontocetes. His PhD thesis aims to determine the ecology of coexistence of sympatric dolphins in the tropics, including critical habitat of cetaceans in Golfo Dulce.