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Amazon River Dolphin Habitat

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However, based on skull morphology in 1994, it was proposed that I. g. boliviensis was a different species. In 2002, following the analysis of mitochondrial DNA specimens from the Orinoco basin, the Putumayo River (tributary of the Amazon) and the Tijamuchy and Ipurupuru rivers, geneticists proposed that genus Inia be divided into at least two evolutionary lineages: one restricted to the river basins of Bolivia and the other widely distributed in the Orinoco and Amazon. A recent study, with more comprehensive sampling of the Madeira system, including above and below the Teotonio Rapids (which were thought to obstruct gene flow), found that the Inia above the rapids did not possess unique mtDNA. As such the species level distinction once held is not supported by current results. Therefore, the Bolivian river dolphin is currently recognized as a subspecies. In addition, a 2014 study identifies a third species in the Araguaia-Tocantins basin, but this designation is not recognized by any international organization and the Committee on Taxonomy of the Society for Marine Mammalogy suggests this analysis is not persuasive.

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