The waters surrounding the Osa Peninsula are recognized as the only locale in the world where humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, from the North Pacific and Southern Ocean geographically overlap (Acevedo & Smultea 1995; Rasmussen et al. 2007; Oviedo & Solís 2008) and Golfo Dulce appears to serve as a calving ground and nursery (Márquez-Artavia et al. 2012, Bessesen 2015 in BIODIVERSITY). Sympatric populations of Pantropical spotted dolphins, Stenella allenuata, and bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, reside in Golfo Dulce (Acevedo-Gutiérrez & Burkhart 1998, Cubero-Pardo 2007, Oviedo 2007). The later species has been photographed with chronic dermal disease (Bessesen et al. 2014). Other cetaceans, including Byrde's whale, Balaenoptera edeni, (Acevedo 1996) and false killer whales, Pseudorca crassidens, have also been documented inside the embayment (Acevedo 1996, Acevedo-Gutierrez et al. 1997, Oviedo et al. 2015).


Acevedo, A., and M.A. Smultea. 1995. First records of Humpback whales including calves at Golfo Dulce and Isa del Coco, Costa Rica, suggesting geographical overlap of northern and southern hemisphere populations. Marine Mammal Science 11:554–560. [link]

Acevedo-Gutiérrez, A., B. Brennan, P. Rodriguez, and M. Thomas. 1997. Resightings and behavior of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in Costa Rica. Marine Mammal Science 13:307–314. [link]

Acevedo G., A. 1996. Lista de mamíferos marinos en Golfo Dulce e Isla del Coco, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 44:933–934. [link]

Acevedo-Gutiérrez, A., and S. Burkhart. 1998. Seasonal distribution of bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and pan-tropical spotted (Stenella attenuata) dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 46:91–101. [link]

Bessesen, B.L., L. Oviedo, L.B. Hart, D. Herra-Miranda, J.D. Pacheco-Polanco, L. Baker, G. Saborío-Rodriguez, L. Bermúdez-Villapol, and A. Acevedo-Gutiérrez. 2014. Lacaziosis-like disease among bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus photographed in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 107:173–180. [link]

Cubero-Pardo, P. 2007a. Environmental factors governing the distribution of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) in Golfo Dulce, South Pacific, off Costa Rica. Investigaciones Marina, 35, 15-23. [link]

Cubero-Pardo, P. 2007b. Distribución y condiciones ambientales asociadas al comportamiento del delfín bufeo (Tursiops truncatus) y el delfín manchado (Stenella attenuata) (Cetacea: Delphinidae) en el Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 55:549–557. [link]

Cubero Pardo, P. 1998. Patrones de comportamiento diurnos y estacionales de Tursiops truncatus y Stenella attenuata (Mammalia: Delphinidae) en el Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 46 (Supl. 6):103-110. [link]

Herra-Miranda, D., J.D. Pacheco-Polanco, L. Oviedo, and M. Iñíguez. 2016. Análisis espacial de los hábitats críticos del delfín nariz de botella (Tursiops truncatus) y la ballena jorobada (Megaptera novaeangliae) en el Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica: Consideraciones acerca de un proyecto de construcción de marina. Revista Ciencias Marinas y Costeras, 8(1):9-27. [link]

Oviedo, L. 2008. Análisis del uso de hábitat del delfín manchado pantropical Stenella attenuata (Cetacea: Delphinidae) en el Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Tesis de Maestria, Universidad Nacional Costa Rica PROCMAR. [link]

Oviedo, L. 2007. Dolphin sympatric ecology in a tropical fjord: habitat partitioning by bathymetry and topography as a strategy to coexist. Journal of Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 87:1327–1335. [link]

Oviedo, L., and M. Solís. 2008. Underwater topography determines critical breeding habitat for humpback whales near Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: implications for Marine Protected Areas. Revista de Biología Tropical 56:591–602. [link]

Oviedo, L., D. Herra-Miranda, J.D. Pacheco-Polanco, C. Figgener, A. Márquez-Artavia, W. Quiros-Pereira, and M. Iñiguez. 2015. Diversidad de cetáceos en el paisaje marino costeros de Golfo Dulce, Península de Osa, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 63(Supl.1):395-406. [link]

Oviedo C., L.E., J.D. Pacheco, and D. Herra M. 2009. Evaluación de los riesgos de afectación por el establecimiento de granjas atuneras en relación con la distribución espacial de cetáceos en el Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Revista Ciencias Marinas y Costeras 1:159–174. [link]

Oviedo, L., M. Fernández, D. Herra-Miranda, J.D. Pacheco-Polanco, C.J. Hernández-Camacho, and D. Aurioles-Gamboa. 2018. Habitat partitioning mediates the coexistence of sympatric dolphins in a tropical fjord-like embayment. Journal of Mammalogy 99(3):554–564. [link].

Oviedo, L., Fernández, M., Pacheco-Polanco, JD. And D. Herra-Miranda. 2019. Spatial Analysis on The Occurrence of Inshore and Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Osa Peninsula Waters and Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 20: 1–11 [link]

Sánchez Robledo, E., L. Oviedo, D. Herra Miranda, J.D. Pacheco Polanco, S. Goodman, and H.M. Guzman. 2020. The abundance of false killer whale, Pseudorca crassidens (Cetartiodactyla: Delphinidae) in coastal waters of Golfo Dulce and Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 68(2): 580-589 [link]

Scientific Reports & Posters

Márquez-Artavia A., L. Oviedo, D. Herra-Miranda, J.D. Pacheco-Polanco, W. Quirós-Pereira, M. Gabriela, S. Hernández, and C. Figgener. 2012. The utilization distribution of humpback whales in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Other Abstracts of the 2012 Workshop; 8 June–6 July 2; Panama City, Panama. Cambridge (UK): International Whaling Commission, 2012. Abstract: SC/64/O15. [link]

Oviedo, L. 2007. Dolphins in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica: marine mammals in a tropical fjord. JMBA Marine Global Environment p. 22–24 [link]

Oviedo, L., D. Herra-Miranda, J.D. Pacheco-Polanco, A. Márquez-Artavia, W. Quirós-Pereira, M.G.S. Hernández, and C. Figgener. 2012. The critical foraging habitats of bottlenose and coastal pantropical spotted dolphins in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Abstracts of the 2012 Workshop on Small Cetaceans; 8 June–6 July; Panama City, Panama. Cambridge (UK): International Whaling Commission, 2012. Abstract: SC/64/SM10. [link]

Oviedo, L., and J.D. Pacheco-Polanco. 2007. Dolphin Conservation in Fiord Systems. JMBA Global Marine Environment pp. 36–37. [link]

Oviedo C., L.E., D. Herra-Miranda, J.D. Pacheco-Polanco, M.G. Silva, and L. Karczmarski. 2011. Critical foraging habitats of pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata graffmani) in a tropical fjord: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. PPT Presentation. SMMTampa. [link]

Pacheco-Polanco, J.D., L.E. Oviedo-Correa, D.H. Miranda, and M.G. Silva. 2011. The occurence of coastal and oceanic bottlenose dolphins off the Southern-Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Poster Presentation, SMMTampa. [link]

Pacheco-Polanco, D., and L. Oviedo. 2007. Determinación preliminar de hábitat crítico de alimentación del delfín nariz de botella (Tursiops truncatus) en Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Poster Presentation, Centro de Investigación de Cetáceos (CEIC). [link]

Other Links

Oviedo Correa, L. 2019. The Life of a Humpback Whale and the Importance of Protecting Its Habitat. Earthwatch: Stories from the Field blog. [link]