The following report from Mike Foster at Pimlico State High School in Townsville makes for very interesting reading! The enriched scientific oversight which Lars Bejder brings is fantastic. The Indo Pacific Humpback Dolphins, like the Australian Snubfins are endangered and the students research work is extremely beneficial contributing to their conservation an alerting the community to the threats posed by human activity. Congratulations and well done to everyone involved in this exciting project!
MARINE STUDENTS DOLPHIN SPOTTING
Boating training took on an added importance this year for Marine Practices Students. With the help of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society through Ian Potter Foundation funding and Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch, students have commenced collecting data of dolphin sightings while boating. The Ian Potter Foundation generously provided funding for the purchase of equipment including cameras and hydrophones. Tony and Phyll Bartram from Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch also presented their expertise and enthusiasm for the project. This will be an ongoing part of the Marine Practices course. Sightings will be recorded and collated as part of an investigation into where and when dolphins use Cleveland Bay. Students will then present their findings in their reports for assessment. Each year’s results will be aggregated to build a data base of local dolphin populations. A pod of three dolphins, two adults and one juvenile, were spotted on the first day and two on the second. All were humpback dolphins – a species that favours waters close to sea grass beds and waters around 4 – 5m deep. Photographic evidence collected on the day has been verified by Dr Lars Bejder at the Cetacean Research Unit, Centre for Fish, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystem Research at Murdoch University in WA.