The only reliable abundance estimate is of 60 dolphins in an area of approx 270 km² off southern Isla Chiloé, Chile (Heinrich 2006). The total population appears to be very small (low thousands at most) although the perceived rarity of these dolphins may be due, to some extent, to the lack of boat traffic and fewness of trained observers in the channels, and to the animals’ shyness and evasive behaviour. Based on information from 20 years ago, it has been suggested that Chilean dolphins are locally abundant in areas such as Bahia Corral off Valdivia, the Golfo de Arauco near Concepción and around Isla Grande de Chiloé . Groups of 20-50 have been seen on the open coast near the northern limit of the species’ range (Goodall 1994). At least some Chilean dolphins near Chiloé reside in the same inshore waters year-round (Goodall 1994; Heinrich 2006).
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