Lameroo Regional District Schools participated in field survey research effort for the sixth year in succession on October 19th. As in previous years Phil Robinson ferried the students and accompanying adults out to North Cape on board his cray fishing boat. Andrew Neighbour of Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures then took the group, half at a time to North Cape proper and around to Cloud Bay in search of the local dolphin pod. The combined efforts were rewarded with good sightings in reasonable conditions, with the second group in particular experiencing a brilliant up close encounter with approximately 18 dolphins over an extended period. The data obtained is invaluable and the efforts of the students were remarkable, particularly given the high levels of excitement the dolphin observations generated. A great experience again for all involved and a credit to the Lameroo visitors, and another brilliant effort by Andrew, Phil and crew. Special thanks to teacher Maureen Steinborner for her fantastic long term interest and support.
Windy conditions with poor visibility made the field survey at Port Pirie on September 28th somewhat difficult. In spite of this the crew of Kevin, Tony and Phyll, joined by Celeste from the Port Pirie Recorder, and farewelled by Port Pirie Dolphin Watch teacher Tegan, were treated to a magnificent observation of 20+ Bottlenose dolphins frolicking off the western end of Ward Spit. This has proved to be a reliable site for regular sightings over the past 3 years, providing the basis of much of the local data collection, research effort and cataloguing.
Once again our sincere thanks are due to Kevin Pallant for his outstanding long term contribution along with Trevor Thomas, unfortunately suffering from serious ill health currently. Get well soon Skipper Trevor!
On Wednesday 10th October Tony Bartram trained Sealink Ferries staff in dolphin monitoring and data collection techniques at their offices in Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island and Cape Jervis on the mainland, and crews on board the Spirit of Kangaroo Island and the Sealion. The staff, particularly those on board, together with Sealink passengers, will be assisting in gathering data regarding the dolphins which are frequently sighted on voyages across Backstairs Passage, and their habitat. Rudimentary information regarding whale identification was also provided to enable the crews to provide information regarding sightings to the SA Whale Centre and the SA Museum.
Kangaroo Island Dolphin Watch are extremely grateful to Sealink for ongoing sponsorship through funding and travel, providing significant support for the development and sustainability of the project and its expansion to Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch, which has been in operation for 18 months. The community education and awareness raising resulting from Sealink support is significant and highly valued.
The Youth Connect SA Works Dolphin Watch project which commenced on July 23rd, continues to go from strength to strength, with alternating weekly field surveys and workshops. The project managed by Regional Development Australia is funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments, linking young people with older community volunteers.
A fascinating workshop with Gary Bell of KI Digicam has resulted in a greater understanding of how to obtain quality video footage and editing to best effect with products improving in quality and impact accordingly. Migratory Wildlife Networks Geoff Prideaux’s workshop on data entry on the website www.kangarooislanddolphinwatch.com.au created great excitement when he demonstrated the API mapping tools he has created. A world first application with considerable wow factor and readily adopted as a project by Nina and Sharon in particular. An absolutely stunning result.
The introduction of three new enthusiastic students recently, Jayden, Thomas and James, has boosted research activity and analysis, movie editing etc. Skipper Andrew’s work with the new students and Ellis is outstanding, equipping them with a broad range of skills and experiences in employability in boating and marine services.
A wonderful community Citizen Science project highly valued and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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.