Dr Delphine Chabanne from Murdoch University and Associate Professor Chandra Salgado Kent from Edith Cowan University are leading the research into Perth’s Swan River dolphin community and investigating how environmental changes in the river and human activities can affect the dolphin community.
Community involvement is a great boost to the research project and allows information to be gathered on how dolphins use the Canning and upper reaches of the Swan River – areas that experience problems such as low oxygen and algal blooms.
The Swan River dolphin community is small, dependent on a handful of females and living in an urban environment which places a lot of stress on the mammals. Pressures from loss of habitat, increased river usage by boats and other motorised vessels, climate change, entanglement, boat strikes and noise all impact the community.
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.