Abstract: The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis, Osbeck, 1765) is found in coastal waters throughout the Indian and western Pacific Oceans, but the species has not been studied in detail along the coast of India. Records of stranded specimens, occasional sightings, incidental catches, and museum specimens are reviewed here, and these show that humpback dolphins occur along most Indian coastal areas and in northwest Sri Lanka. There also are two sighting records for the north-east Andaman Islands. An overview is given of a project carried out recently to study coastal cetacean populations in two areas along the west coast of India. Boat surveys were carried out along the coast of Goa and in the Gulf of Kachchh Marine Protected Area. The distribution, group size, and an index of abundance for S. chinensis in the two regions are evaluated. The sighting rate was over six times higher in Goa.

Key Words: INDIA; INDO-PACIFIC HUMPBACK DOLPHIN; SOUSA CHINENSIS; DISTRIBUTION; LITERATURE SURVEY; INDIA; SRI LANKA; BOAT SURVEY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.30.1.2004.125

Page Numbers: 125-136

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