Seasonality of reproduction in Amazon River Dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) in three major river basins of South America

T. L. McGuire, Enzo R. Aliaga Rossel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Reproduction of Amazon River Dolphins, Inia geoffrensis, is generally reported to be highly seasonal; however, this conclusion is based on studies from only one area of Inia distribution from throughout the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. Our observations of live dolphins from the Orinoco, Amazon, and Mamoré river basins (in Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia, respectively) indicate that reproduction in Inia often occurs year-round, with seasonal peaks varying according to geographic location. Inia neonates in Peru and Bolivia were seen in all seasons, and were observed most often in falling water (season was defined by relative water level). Conversely, neonates in Venezuela were seen at the end of low water and in rising water, yet were never observed during falling water. Inia mating behavior in Peru was observed in all seasons, while mating was observed only during falling and low water in Bolivia. Our review of the literature from throughout the range of Inia indicates variation in reproductive seasonality, with year-round reproduction in some areas. Seasonality of peaks in births varied according to study area, and may be more closely associated with local environmental and prey conditions than with taxonomic relatedness, relative seasonal differences in water levels, or broad geographic distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Amazon
  • Inia
  • Mamoré
  • Orinoco
  • Reproduction
  • River dolphins
  • Seasonality
  • South America


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