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Dolphin Watch Project Information Session

Calling all Dolphin Watch volunteers!

We're holding a special information session on Thursday 5 October from 6-7pm.

Hear the latest reserach findings from our Dolphin Watch researchers Assoc. Prof. Chandra Salgado-Kent (thanks to your monitoring reports) and Dr Delphine Chabanne (scientific vessel surveys conducted over winter) and get the latest update on our resident dolphin community.

You'll also be briefed on an exciting new Dolphin Watch project sponsored by Fremantle Ports. We'll be inviting our dedicated Dolphin Watch volunteers to assist with this new project and they'll be afforded the opportunity for some one-on-one training with our super scientists and even the opportunity for a lucky few to go out with Delphine on one of her dolphin vessel surveys on the Swan and Canning rivers.

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be served for this short, exciting Dolphin Watch event.

Get your free tickets to here. We look forward to seeing you on the 5th!

New research in the Canning River – Kent Street Weir Pool

New research being conducted by the DBCA Rivers and Estuaries Science Program is aiming to understand the light environment in the Kent Street Weir Pool and how it may affect the growth of submerged plants. The research involves the installation of light loggers attached to four white floats at four locations above the weir (see picture). If you see them please do not touch them as any interference can impact the quality of the data they are collecting. It’s expected the light loggers and floats will remain in the river throughout September. If you have any questions please contact

Don't feed the Birds Please!

We've all seen the signs "Do not feed the birds" but do you know why this seemingly "caring" act is dangerous for wildlife? We're sharing these tips with you in the hope that you can educate others next time you see someone feeding the birds.
1. Feeding bread (or any other human food) lacks the nutrition that birds need for healthy feather, beak and bone development. Birds will fill up on the 'junk' food that humans provide, and won't have room for their natural food
2. This can lead to wing, beak and feet deformities meaning the birds suffer long-term, unable to eat properly or escape danger
3. Young birds that are regularly fed by people don't learn the natural foraging skills they need to survive on their own
4. Birds that would naturally move around in search for food will stay in the area longer, causing over crowding, over-competition, aggression and leaves them vulnerable if the wetland dries up.
5. Uneaten food and excess waste from the birds contributes to excess nutrients in the water, leading to algal blooms which degrade the water quality
6. Birds quickly become habituated to humans, leading to nuisance and often aggressive behaviour around people (such as stealing food).
7. Birds become less afraid of people and their dogs, increasing their risk of injury or attack by dogs.
Changing people's perception about feeding wildlife can be difficult. Many view it as an act of kindness, and a way to interact closely with the wildlife they love. People often think the animals are hungry if they are approaching or taking food, and are unaware of the dangerous and life-threatening impacts this can have. Sometimes explaining these impacts to well-intentioned bird feeders can make them re-think this "act of kindness" next time.

Photo: Eurasian coots and dusky moorhens gather to eat the food scattered by well-intentioned visitors to South Perth Foreshore. Photo by Georgina Wilson

Djinda's Calf Death

Djinda's calf found deceased in the Riverpark

On the evening of June 12th, we received reports of a deceased dolphin calf near the Canning Bridge. We were devasted to learn that this was Djinda's calf, who was born in April. At 2 months old, it's not possible to identify a dolphin using the traditional way (i.e. by the nicks and notches found on the dorsal fin). Instead, Dr Delphine Chabanne examined some markings and spots on the body of the dolphin, which she matched with images taken of the calf on her previous surveys. We decided to name the calf 'Walken' meaning Rainbow in Noongar 🌈. A necropsy was undertaken by colleagues at DPIRD and we now know that Walken had a severe lungworm infestation, which resulted in pneumonia, ultimately causing her death. Dolphins, like many mammals, are susceptible to parasites such as lungworm, so this type of infection is not unusual.

Photo: Djinda and her calf, Walken. Photo by Dr Delphine Chabanne

Update on Mandurah dolphin calf impaled by a gidgee spear

'Bliss', the dolphin calf in Mandurah who survived an ordeal being impaled by a gidgee spear a few weeks ago, is doing well. The wound is healing well and Bliss appears to be healthy. Although Bliss and his mother are back together with their usual associates, Bliss is still staying close by his mum’s side and haven’t yet been observed socializing with the other six similarly aged calves in the community. The Estuary Guardians and researchers will keep monitoring Bliss’s recovery. Investigations into this incident and how it occurred are still ongoing at this stage.