Chliean Dolphin

Near Threatened

Physical Characteristics

Chliean Dolphin are generally described as small and chunky with length of 1.65 meters for both male and female. These dolphin weigh approximately 57 kilograms, female may be slightly larger than males. They have stout, torpedo-like shape. The head is conical in shape and lacks a beak and melon. However, chliean dolphin have large number of teeth: 24 to 31 on each jaw.

Habitat

The chliean dolphin is restircted to cold shallow waters. According to Goodall it inhabits two distinct areas the channels from Cape Horn lsla Grande de Chiloe and open coasts, bays and river mouths north of lsla Chiloe, such as waters near Valdivia and Concepcion. It seems to prefer areas with rapid tidal flow, tide rips, and shallow water over banks at the entrance to fjords. The dolphins readily enter estuaries and rivers

Explain

For many years, the chilean dolphin have been hunted for crab bait and allegedly also for food. With the number of mature individual almost certainly numbering less than 10,000 hunting of this species for bait presents a considerable threat to its long-term survival. An addtitional concerns is rapid expansion of salmon and shellfish farm, which exclude Chilean dolphins from important area of habbitat and restrict movement.