In the waters of Babitonga Bay, we found the only population of franciscanas in the world residing within a bay, with approximately 50 individuals. With an abundance of fish and an absence of predators (such as orcas and sharks), this is a sheltered region for franciscanas, which are preferentially distributed among the inner islands of the bay. The population has unique characteristics, which differentiate it from the franciscanas that inhabit the adjacent coast.

For more than 20 years, the project has carried out research on Babitonga franciscanas, making the bay a true natural laboratory for studies on the species, making this population the most widely studied in the world. In Babitonga, they have preferential areas, located mainly in the innermost part of the bay, among the islands, considered an essential environment for their survival. Using acoustic methods, it was also possible to understand that habitat use patterns are different between day and night, and that they feed more at night.

Uma toninha adulta (Pontoporia blainvillei) subindo à superfície para respirar, ao fundo o centro histórico de São Francisco do Sul (SC).
An adult franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) rising to the surface to breathe, in the background, the historic center of São Francisco do Sul (Santa Catarina).