58th Australian Mammal Conference Poster Presentation – Port Augusta, South Australia

58th Australian Mammal Conference KI Dolphin Watch Poster Presentation Sep 25th 2012

The Dolphin Watch Poster Presentation at the 58th Australian Mammal Conference in Port Augusta on September 25th created considerable interest among those present. Taxonomists were particularly interested in the similarities displayed in the photographic images to the recently discovered species: the Burrunan Dolphin – Tursiops australis.
The potential for follow up research effort is considerable. The Marine Mammal Symposium on the first day of the conference proved fascinating and enlightening. Special thanks to the organising committee and everyone involved in this wonderful event.

Japanese University Students Enjoy Dolphin Watch Field Survey

Sacred Heart University Students on the Island Explorer August 21st 2012

Professor Yoshi Nagata, staff and students from Sacred Heart University participated in dolphin monitoring survey 114 off North Cape on 21st August, as a component of a very successful KI Sustainability Tour organised by Jennie and Bob Teasdale of People Perspectives. The high quality data collected enabled identification of a number of known and new dolphins, and the groups interest, support, enthusiasm and excellent company was a delight. This was the third group of wonderful Japanese students and teachers to participate in Dolphin Watch on Kangaroo Island thanks to Yoshi and People Perspectives.
Grateful thanks to everyone involved!

Successful St Peter’s College Dolphin Watch Programme at Victor Harbor

St Peters College students and staff brave the elements on “The Big Duck”

The St Peter’s College Dolphin Watch programme was completed on Friday 16th August and over the period of activity, some outstanding data collection was achieved. Even in inclement weather conditions the students performed brilliantly and their efforts resulted in a number of new animals being added to the catalogue and some interesting data regarding movements of known animals being recorded. Special thanks to head of Outdoor Education Curtis Eyles and staff Daniel and Gareth and the students for their fantastic work.

Young Achiever Award for Dolphin Watcher Harley

Harley and assistant Charlie on Youth Connect Dolphin Watch July 23rd 2012

Congratulations to Harley Dunstan, a long term Dolphin Watch volunteer, on receiving the Kangaroo Island Young Achiever of the Year Award for 2012. His fantastic efforts on behalf of Kangaroo Island Youth over many years has been duly acknowledged by this accolade which is so well deserved. Beginning as an active and enthusiastic student participant in Dolphin Watch, Harley has become a much valued community volunteer and mentor since completing Year 12 in 2011. Thank you and well done Harley!!

WDCS launches Townsville Pimlico State High School Dolphin Watch

Teacher Jarrad Anderson and students Hayden and Brock on Dolphin Watch May 17th 2012

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!

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.

Share If You Love Dolphins!!

A very special Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch volunteer after her first magical experience on a recent dolphin monitoring survey, created this amazing and powerful global message.

Please help by sharing far and wide! Our love and gratitude to dear Sharon Zealand and heartfelt thanks to John Farnham for being OUR VOICE. XOX

“Share if you love dolphins”
you are the voice
a small group of dedicated citizens can make a world of difference.

Adopt a Dolphin – Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch

Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch commenced Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch in April 2011 with SA Whale Centre volunteers and Investigator College staff and students. Operating collaboratively with Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch with NRM Community Grant funding, it has achieved extraordinary outcomes through successful regional cooperation. Through involvement and support of “Friends of the SA Whale Centre”, a site-based network undertaking regular observations, underpinning boat-based field surveys has been established. It will yield much needed data regarding frequency and range of movements and connectivity. As dolphins in the region are at risk due to human impact and intensive boating activity, development of public awareness and community education is an imperative.

The Friends of the South Australian Whale Centre is a hard working enthiastic Community group dedicated to supporting marine and Cetacean conservation in South Australia. The group engages in a range of social and fundraising activities, and raises awareness of current research and conservation efforts. To support the Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch project the Friends of the SA Whale Centre launched an exciting local Adopt a Dolphin Programme in June 2012, which is going from strength to strength.

Cost of the adoption is $20 per annum, for which participants receive an adoption certificate and a photo of the dolphin selected via electronic transfer, with emailed updates throughout the year on the dolphin’s activities. Hard copies of photos and certificates are available for an extra $10 to cover printing, postage and handling.

Dolphins up for adoption from the Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch catalogue are 001 Flap, 007 Scapa, 008 Sushi, 009M Bob, 011 Tango, 024M Neptune, 026 Katie Marie and 070 Pip.

For further information and an Adopt a Dolphin form please visit www.friends.sawhalecentre.com, email friends@sawhalecentre.com vhdolphins@bigpond.com or phone 0400724762.

Congratulations, well done and thankyou Nedra Haines and the Friends of the SA Whale Centre!!

Thankyou Volunteers!!!

Thankyou volunteers!! Image: KICE student Kallen Bell 2008

June 11th was Volunteers Day and on behalf of Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch, we would like to thank all of the students, teachers, volunteers and community members for their fantastic efforts towards Cetacean conservation and protection in all of the Dolphin Watch sites; Victor Harbor, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Townsville Queensland and Kangaroo Island. Outstanding effort by so many, volunteering on or off the water in any way, is fantastic and highly valued, with wonderful outcomes! A special thankyou to the boat providers and skippers Andrew Neighbour / “Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures”, Dan Irvine / “The Big Duck”, Trevor Thomas, Kevin Pallant, Steve Storic and Mike Foster – the backbone around which our efforts are made possible.

Whale Encounter – National Whale Day 2012

The Island Explorer and Big Duck crews celebrate at Granite Island

Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch volunteers celebrated the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s 5th National Whale Day in style with an adventurous trek to Victor Harbor for a “Whale Encounter” on Saturday 9th June. In a parodied reenactment of Flinder’s and Baudin’s meeting, they rendezvoused under the Waitpinga Cliffs with members of the “Friends of the SA Whale Centre” aboard Dan Irvine’s “Big Duck”. Also aboard the Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch boat was Dr Mike Bossley AM of KI Dolphin Watch project partners the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, and photojournalist Anthony Caggiano of the Victor Harbor Times.The rendezvous site had special significance given the 2012 theme of “Watch Out! Whales About!” as it gave the combined Dolphin Watch crews the opportunity to acknowledge conservationist Elizabeth Steele-Collins who was waving a flag on her clifftop eyrie, with respect to her outstanding efforts of Cetacean conservation and protection. Elizabeth has been heavily involved in recent successful prosecutions of people interfering with whales, and as awareness grows, so does the deterrent value of the fines rendered.

Following the exciting meeting the boats travelled to Encounter Bay seeking whales and enjoyed an enthralling encounter with 30 – 40 Oceanic Common Dolphins busy feeding out from the Bluff. These speedy, small dolphins joined in the celebrations with a high powered display including acrobatic jumps as they sought their elusive prey. In a boost for the avid bird watchers on board, they were joined in the pursuit by Giant Petrels, Australasian Gannets, Cormorants and Pacific Gulls. The crews then lunched at the Granite Island Café where a delicious meal was provided by Dolphin Watch supporter Dayna Crowe and staff. In a brief address Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch Coordinator Tony Bartram acknowledged special guests Mike Bossley who is world renowned for his long term research with dolphins in the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, Elizabeth Steele-Collins, Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch Manager Nedra Haines and the outstanding efforts of KI Marine Adventures skipper Andrew Neighbour for 6 ½ years and Dan Irvine for over a year – the backbone of Dolphin Watch efforts. KI Dolphin Watch mentor Mike was duly acknowledged for developing the original Dolphin Watch project on Kangaroo Island which has led to the project being established in Victor Harbor by KI Dolphin Watch in 2011.
In a remarkable coincidence the celebrations were sandwiched between World Oceans Day June 8th and Volunteers Day June 11th providing an opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of all the students and volunteers. The regional nature of our collaborative research effort was highlighted, with the hope of possibly establishing dolphin connectivity between sites, as well as the common threat we face with respect to oil and gas exploration mooted off Kangaroo Island’s coast, of considerable concern to both communities.
This intrepid undertaking which resulted in the volunteers from KI logging 226 kilometres at sea, was an outstanding success. Local dolphins escorted the “Island Explorer” from Christmas Cove at 8.30am and welcomed them home at 5pm, and for thrilling “icing on the cake” on the return journey, two Southern Right Whales were observed, for an extended period off Tunkalilla on the Fleurieu Peninsula – the first of many we hope for the season. Their slow gentle movement emphasized their vulnerability to all observers and underpinned the theme – “Watch Out! Whales About!”

Townsville Dolphin Watch

Students and staff in Cleveland Bay on Townsville Dolphin Watch

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society through Ian Potter Foundation funding, started Dolphin Watch in Townsville May 14th with students and staff from Pimlico State High School. Two days of intensive field surveys yielded sightings of Bottlenose Dolphins in the busy harbour entrance but the much sought after Australian Snubfins and Indo Pacific Humpback Dolphins proved elusive. Given their threatened status due to their low numbers, this was not entirely surprising and has just made the challenge more rewarding. Presentations and training workshops conducted by WDCS Project Coordinator Tony Bartram and KI Dolphin Watch volunteer Phyll Bartram were well received and the outstanding effort, interest and vision by teacher Mike Foster plus the enthusiasm and interest of the Year 11 and 12 students augurs well for the success of this wonderful research effort.