Dolphin Watch is a citizen science project monitoring the dolphin communities in Perth, Mandurah and Broome. The project combines data from research scientists and reports from Dolphin Watch volunteers to help us better understand how the dolphins use our rivers and estuaries.
The project was initially launched in 2009 to learn more about the community of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins residing in the Swan Canning Riverpark. On the back of successfully engaging and training over 1000 volunteers in Perth, Dolphin Watch was expanded to Mandurah and Roebuck Bay (Broome) in 2018.
Dolphin Watch recognises the importance of dolphins as potential indicators of river and estuarine health. The project aims to provide a better understanding of dolphin ecology and their interactions with human activities, to better understand our marine and estuarine environments.
To become an official Dolphin Watcher and actively participate in the Dolphin Watch project, members of the public can attend a free Dolphin Watch training session. These are held intermittently throughout the course of the year – check out our Events page or follow us on social media for details of upcoming sessions.
The public can play an essential role in monitoring this iconic species. Becoming a member of the Dolphin Watch program is a way the community can get directly involved in looking after these beautiful mammals.
How can I get involved?
Dolphin Watch is open to anyone. A free training event is run in each region (Perth, Mandurah and Broome) annually and volunteers (Dolphin Watchers) learn how to record their observations using the Marine Fauna Sightings app on their smartphone.
Volunteers learn basic observation techniques and how to ‘observe but not disturb’, in keeping with regulations in the Biodiversity Conservation Act (2016) and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations (2018) and protocols for marine mammal interaction.
Dolphin Watchers make a valuable contribution to Murdoch and Edith Cowan universities scientific research, while gaining skills and networking with others involved in caring for our marine, estuarine and freshwater river environments.