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Dolphin Watch patron Prof. Lyn Beazley congratulates Dolphin Watchers

Patron of the Dolphin Watch project, Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE has acknowledged the amazing contribution of Dolphin Watch volunteers in a special video that aired at Dolphin Watch Day on 5 September.

The special event celebrated the 10-year anniversary of one of the Dolphin Watch project - one of Australia's leading Citizen Science initiatives.

Since being launched in 2009, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' has trained more than 1,000 volunteers in Perth to help monitor the movements of the 20-25 resident Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins that call the Swan Canning river system home.

Watch Lyn's special thank you video here.

The event, which was attended by the Minsiter for Environment, Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, was also used to recognise the special efforts of a few Dolphin Watch volunteers that have gone over and above to help make the project a success.

Congratulations to the recipients of the Outstanding Service Awards, Mrs Jennie Hunt, Mr Robert Broadway and Mrs Susan Harper!


Asian paddle crab alert

An Asian paddle crab (Charybdis japonica) has been found and confirmed this week via taxonomic and molecular analysis.  A single mature female crab was caught at Blackwall Reach, Swan River, Perth, by a recreational fisher on 5th December 2018.

The Asian paddle crab is an aggressive non-native crab that could outcompete native species like the blue swimmer and spread diseases to prawns, crabs and lobsters.

The Department is calling for continued vigilance from the community, recreational fishers and crabbers and sees their assistance as crucial as the five paddle crabs previously detected at Mosman Bay in 2012 and Matilda Bay in 2014, and one in Mandurah in 2010, were all caught by recreational fishers.

The pest crab varies greatly in colour but its definitive features are six sharp spines between the eyes and six spines down each side of the shell.

As part of the management response, the Department is undertaking a range of activities including public awareness and communication engagement campaign and trapping surveys in the Swan River are planned for the coming months.

The Department considers that the measures being taken are keeping the risks to WA’s aquatic environment to a low level.

Download the brochure here to find out more about this aggresive pest.

Clean our rivers!

We've made it easy for you to help clean our rivers.

Together with FunCats Watersports in South Perth, we have a special board with reusable bags/buckets, grippers and instructions on how you can help!

All you need is a couple of minutes - grab a bag or bucket, gripper and pick up the rubbish along the beach and foreshore. Take your bag or bucket full of rubbish to the nearest bin, empty it and return the bag/bucket and gripper to the board - our native wildlife will thank you for it :)

Don't forget to take a pic and share it with us using the hashtag #cleanourrivers on River Guardians Facebook or Instagram

Fairy Terns nesting at Point Walter

The Swan River is recognised as a very important area for waterbirds. There are 84 recorded species, of which 35 are seen regularly.  But there has been a loss of species and abundance especially in the last few decades in particularly caused by disturbance.

Disturbance can be caused by any human activity that alters the behaviour of birds.  In 2003 a study on the river showed disturbance events were caused by everything from jet skis to people innocently walking along the shore.

When birds are disturbed they take off and fly away. This can become a problem as eggs and chicks can be left alone and open to predation. Some beach-nesting birds are exhasuted after travelling so far and need to feed daily. 

Find out more about our beach-nesting birds project here.

The Kent Street Weir is open!

Did you know the Kent Street Weir in Wilson is the point that separates the fresh water in the Canning River from the saline waters of the Canning Estuary?

The weir has been opened for the first time since a major upgrade to install automated hydraulic weir gates, a fishway and an improved walkway to enhance public access.

The opening of the weir will help alleviate winter flows and allow freshwater to push well into the estuary.

If you would like to see the water flowing through the weir, pack a picnic and visit the Explore Parks website for more info.