This study represents the first attempt to study the population dynamics of Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis), by evaluating a set of demographic parameters. The population of the Caravelas River estuary, eastern Brazil, was systematically monitored through a long-term mark-recapture experiment (2002–2009). Abundance estimates revealed a small population (57–124 dolphins), comprised of resident dolphins and individuals that temporarily leave or pass through the study area. Temporary emigration from the estuary to adjacencies (γ″= 0.33 ± 0.07 SE) and return rate (1 −γ′= 0 .67) were moderate and constant, indicating that some dolphins use larger areas. Survival rate (ϕ= 0.88 ± 0.07 SE) and abundance were constant throughout the study period. Power analysis showed that the current monitoring effort has high probability of detecting abrupt population declines (1 −β= 0.9). Although the monitoring is not yet sensitive to subtle population trends, sufficient time to identify them is feasible (additional 3 yr). Despite such apparent stability, this population, as many others, inhabits waters exposed to multiple human-related threats. Open and closed population modeling applied to photo-identification data provide a robust baseline for estimating several demographic parameters and can be applied to other populations to allow further comparisons. Such synergistic efforts will allow a reliable definition of conservation status of this species.