Stage 1 (2007-2010)

Overview

Stage 1 of the SWMRP comprised three research projects covering several elements of dolphin biology and ecology, and the ecosystem that that supports them. The overall aim was to assess the long-term viability of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) population in Bunbury, by building an understanding of their biology, abundance, gene flow with other geographic areas, and interactions with the environment and food resources.

A dolphin leaping with the town of Bunbury, Western Australia, in the background. Photo: Kate Sprogis, MUCRU.

A dolphin leaping with the town of Bunbury, Western Australia, in the background. Photo: Kate Sprogis, MUCRU.

Stage 1 of the SWMRP had three components:

  1. Dolphin abundance and ranging patterns
  2. Dolphin diet and foraging ecology
  3. Dolphin population genetics

Population abundance and ranging patterns formed the PhD project of Holly Raudino (nee Smith), while dolphin prey and foraging ecology is the PhD project of Shannon McCluskey. The dolphin population genetics project is a collaboration between Murdoch University and the University of New South Wales, the latter represented by PhD student Claire Daniel, Dr. Oliver Manlik and Prof. William Sherwin.

A mother and calf pair.

A bottlenose dolphin mother and young calf pair in the waters off Bunbury. Photo: Kate Sprogis, MUCRU.

Publications associated with Stage 1

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The above Research Bulletins provide plain-English summaries of research conducted during Stage 1 of the SWMRP. Left: Research lead by Holly Raudino, which shows how year-round monitoring revealed seasonal sensitivities in dolphin behaviour, resulting in a legislated no-go zone within Koombana Bay (pdf here). Right: Research lead by Shannon McCluskey, revealing seasonal variability in the biomass and energy density of potential dolphin prey species in Bunbury waters (pdf here).

Completed theses

Since the completion of her PhD with the SWMRP, Dr. Holly Raudino (nee Smith) has been working as a Research Scientist with the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife's Marine Science Program. Photo: Alex Brown, MUCRU.

Since the completion of her PhD with the SWMRP, Dr. Holly Raudino (nee Smith) has been working as a Research Scientist with the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Marine Science Program. Photo: Alex Brown, MUCRU.

Blogs associated with Stage 1

Stage 1 partners

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