News & Media releases

Articles by year

Riverpark resident Akuna, seen with a newborn

Our most recognisable resident dolphin Akuna, has been spotted with a newborn calf! 

The first sighting was reported by Dolphin Watch volunteer, Sue Harper, who took the beautiful picture below in late June. Intitially we couldnt be sure if the calf belog to Akuna as she was observed socialising and fishing with the "mums group" which included Claw and Bobby, Moon and Nganga and Daniele and her new calf. but after another sighting, research scientist Delphine Chabanne confirmed that Akuna does in fact have a new calf! 


Volunteers needed Reel it in bins

Since our last call out for volunteers, many of our busiest bins have been adopted so thank you for spreading the message and thank you to our new volunteers!

However, we are always searching for more volunteers and this time we are looking to the Northern suburbs for Quinns Rock and Burns Beach bins. If you know anyone living around these areas that might be interested, please ask them to get in touch with us.

Around the Riverpark, there are a few bins still in need of adoption, mainly Freshwater Bay in Peppermint Grove and Heirisson Island. Please contact us if you can help with these bins or know anyone who can.

If you are interested in adopting a bin and want more information head to our Reel it in page. To register your interest please email us at

photo credit: Tracy Burns

Dolphin Updates around the Riverpark

Latest news from Coastal & Estuarine Dolphin Project seasonal monitoring on the resident dolphins in the Swan Canning Riverpark

🐬A new calf was born to Panuni, who is mainly observed in the lower reaches of the estuary and the Inner Harbour of Fremantle, was seen with her new calf for the first time. Her calf would have been born within the last month.
🐬All the resident dolphins were seen, except two. With several calves born this year (including to Eden and Daniele), we now count 22 resident dolphins in the Swan Canning Riverpark with 2 others, Hugs and her calf, spending lots of their time with them.
🐬Early in April, Dunedoo was seen without her calf, also born earlier this year. A member of the public found the remains of her calf a week ago during a low tide. Unfortunately, and as expected, it was too decomposed to gain further information on the cause of death.

If you see these precious newborns, or any of our resident dolphins, don't forget to record your sightings in the Marine Fauna Sighings App. More info can be found here


Photos by Delphine Chabanne 

Dolphin Research Update-10 year report

Dolphin Scientists, Chandra Salgado Kent and Delphine Chabanne have released a new research paper, combining 10 years of Dolphin Watch citizen science reports with scientific vessel surveys.

The aim of this study was to undertake a comparative analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) sighted in the Swan Canning Riverpark (Western Australia) collected from two survey modes (citizen science and scientific vessel surveys); and thereby inform management directly and plan for ongoing future monitoring. You can read a summary of the findings here or access the full paper here


Research into the Dolphins of the Peel-Harvey Estuary

Some exciting new research into Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins in teh Peel-Harvey Estuary and adjacent coastal waters. 

Niche partitioning among social clusters of a resident estuarine apex predator (Prepared by Dr Krista Nicholson)

This study identified intra-population resource partitioning according to social structure in a resident estuarine dolphin population. The heterogeneity in space use and diet among social clusters may result in individuals being susceptible to different pressures and threats. The dolphins’ foraging behavior and trophic interactions identified them as an apex predator in the Peel-Harvey Estuary, with their collective minimum annual food intake (~ 200,000 kg) exceeding the annual fish biomass removed by commercial fishers. As top predators in the system, dolphins may suppress prey populations through consumption and as agents of intimidation by changing prey distribution and behavior. This study provides scientific basis for recognizing dolphins as an important component of the Peel-Harvey Estuary ecosystem.