About The SouSA Consortium
The humpback dolphin of South Africa was recently recognised as a separate species (Sousa plumbea), listed as ‘Vulnerable’ internationally (IUCN) and ‘Endangered’ within South Africa. With estimated numbers of just over 500 individuals (Vermeulen et al. 2018), it is considered South Africa’s most endangered marine mammal.
In view of the lack of empirical data on Indian Ocean humpback dolphin population status and threats in South Africa, a nation-wide research collaboration, the SouSA Consortium, was established in May 2016 between 18 partners from 15 different institutions with the aim to address the conservation biology of humpback dolphins at a national scale.
The Consortium currently consists of 11 core members and 6 collaborators. The group aims to meet regularly to discuss current research efforts, funding opportunities, policy, education and to discuss upcoming opportunities and challenges.
The following research teams, listed alphabetically, are collaborating in the Consortium.
Lower Breede River Conservancy, Witsand
Coastal and Marine Research Institute, Nelson Mandela University - Port Elizabeth
Dyer Island Conservation Trust - Gansbaai
Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit, University of Pretoria - Pretoria
Oceans Research - Mosselbay
Sea Search, Research and Conservation - Cape Town
Whale Coast Cetacean Project - Kleinbaai
Richards Bay Humpback Dolphin Project - Richards Bay
Award winning collaboration
December 2019 Sasha Dines (Consortium PhD Student) presented on behalf of the SouSA Consortium at the World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona.
Her oral presentation was titled " SouSA Consortium: A nation-wide collaboration to improve the conservation of South Africa's Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea)". Based on this presentation, the Consortium won the Judges Discretionary award at the Conference "presented for an outstanding contribution to science and conservation through collaborative research"