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Mbungu Ndamba S, Maba Ngaka A, Nzinga S, Sambu Banganga J, Lai H, Van Waerebeek K. Cetaceans of the Congo River Estuary, DRC: the first inventory, aided by citizen science. JAD 2023; 5 (3) :1-18
URL: http://jad.lu.ac.ir/article-1-403-en.html
1- l'Institut Supérieur de Navigation et de Pêche (ISNP), Muanda, Kongo Central, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Centre d’Initiatives pour la Conservation de la Biodiversité (CICOBIO), Avenue Lelo Luemba N°10, Q. Ocean, Muanda, DRC , sammbungu@gmail.com
2- Service National de l'Aquaculture à Nsiamfumu, DRC
3- Équipe d’observateurs des Cétacés, CICOBIO, Avenue Lelo Luemba N°10, Q. Ocean, Muanda, DRC
4- Agence de Pêche Artisanal (Artisanal Fisheries Agency), Nsiamfumu, DRC
5- Eco Institute, Favor Industrial Centre, 2-6 Kin Hong Street, Kwai Chung, N.T., Hong Kong
6- Peruvian Centre for Cetacean Research/Centro Peruano de Estudios Cetológicos (CEPEC), Museo de Delfines, Pucusana, Lima-20, Peru; Conservation and Research of West African Aquatic Mammals (COREWAM), c/o Faculty of Environment and Conservation, University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies, P.O. Box 25, Bunso, Eastern Region, Ghana
Abstract:   (3033 Views)
The first inventory of cetacean diversity in coastal waters of the Congo River Estuary, Democratic Republic of the Congo, was obtained between May 2021 and April 2022, through incidental sightings (n=17) reported mainly by artisanal fishers and direct observations of bycatches at fish landing sites. Confirmed records include five odontocete species: four Delphinidae: Delphinus capensis Gray, Pseudorca crassidens (Owen), Stenella frontalis (G. Cuvier), Tursiops truncatus (Montagu); one Kogiidae: Kogia sima (Owen). There was one mysticete, Balaenopteridae: Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski). Of six small cetaceans documented landed for use as aquatic bushmeat, four (66.7%) were T. truncatus. Megaptera novaeangliae was the most frequently sighted cetacean (47.1% of reported sightings), registered between 17 May3 September 2021, with a seasonality (austral winter) consistent with the SE Atlantic breeding stock (‘B-Stock’). All information was collected by locals, the at-sea sightings by trained fishermen in a citizen science framework. The main benefits included a welcome marine conservation educational component, and low-cost, opportunistic fishing boat use. Shortfalls comprised a deficiency in scientific detail and effort quantification, occasional data loss and lack of biological sampling. However, in a remote coastal region like the DRC’s Congo River estuary, where marine mammals have never before been studied, local citizen science methodology proved effective and, after adjustments, should be scaled-up.
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Type of Study: Original Research Article | Subject: Species Diversity
Received: 2023/08/16 | Accepted: 2023/10/30 | Published: 2023/11/15

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