Celebrating 17 years of Citizen Science in our region!
Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch celebrated entering the 17th year of dolphin research on Kangaroo Island last month, and shortly we celebrate 11 years since we expanded the project to Victor Harbor in 2011, working with the Big Duck Boat Tours http://thebigduck.com.au.
On our KI Birthday survey on Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures http://kimarineaaadventures.com.au the volunteers visited Dashwood Bay in the Mission Blue North Coast Hope Spot http://mission-blue.org to collect vital data around the Bottlenose dolphins and the habitat which is so critical to their wellbeing.
The dolphins appeared in numbers as if to celebrate as well, with lots of frisky “party” behaviour displayed by the juveniles and newborn calves.
Perhaps Dolphin Watch mentor Dr Mike Bossley AM, one of the progenitors of the project says it best in his brilliant, recently published book “Whales, Dolphins and Me” – Moonglow Publishing. http://moonglowpublishing.com.au
“Undertaking long term studies increases immeasurably the enjoyment to be gained by watching animals in the wild because it allows a much deeper appreciation of what is happening. The biologist, be they professional or amateur, certainly gains enormous satisfaction if they have studied their species / environment over an extended period.”
With a dearth of knowledge about dolphins as characterised by their data deficient status with the IUCN, such longitudinal studies are vital.
Volunteers Sharon and Keith Sharp from the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary / Whale and Dolphin Conservation joined the crew which included long serving, dedicated volunteers who have spent many hours over the years supporting the research effort.
At the celebration lunch at the Emu Bay Lavender Farm http://emubaylavenderfarm.com there was an opportunity for Coordinator Tony Bartram to thank the volunteers of all ages, sponsors and supporters over the years for their outstanding contributions.
Particular note was made of Dolphin Watch operational partner Andrew Neighbour of KI Marine Adventures who has provided outstanding levels of subsidy and support from the beginning.
A perfect example of Ecotourism and Citizen Science joining forces to effect high level conservation outcomes.
To our wonderful Ecotourism partners, sponsors, supporters and volunteers of all ages over all these years…we thank you!!!
Here’s to the next 17 years and beyond.
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