News & Media releases

Dolphin watch project launched

The Swan River Trust, Murdoch and Curtin universities have collaborated to create a new social science research and education project recording the activities of bottlenose dolphins in the Swan Canning Riverpark.

Recognizing their potential as indicators of river health, the new river-based project will centre on dolphin ecology and their interactions with human activities.

It will build on research completed from 2001-03 which provided a baseline understanding of the Swan River’s resident dolphin population.

The outcome of the study will be a comprehensive understanding of dolphin status in the Riverpark and the effects of human activities on these mammals.

Get active

The Perth community can get involved in the project through the Swan River Trust’s River Guardians Program, by taking part in the Dolphin Watch Project - a community monitoring program where volunteers record and report their observations of bottlenose dolphins in the Swan and Canning rivers.

Becoming a River Guardian gives public members the chance to learn more about the Swan and Canning rivers, form networks with people who share their passion for the rivers and take part in river-based events and activities.

Dolphin Watch aims to collaborate with and empower community members to value, respect and be more aware of river issues to preserve the Riverpark’s bottlenose dolphin population.

Expressions of interest

Expressions of interest have been sought from River Guardian members for their participation. Dr Hugh Finn (Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit) and Dr Chandra Salgado (Curtin University Centre for Marine Science and Technology) briefed River Guardians on the Dolphin Watch Project on Friday 6 March 2009.

Public volunteers have also attended a Department of Conservation and Environment Code of Conduct induction, necessary to participate in the project.

Become a River Guardian today

If you would like to be involved in Dolphin Watch, become a River Guardian today (membership is currently free). Your membership pack will include a form that you can register your interest for this special project.