Stage 2 (2010-2013)

Overview

Stage 2 of the SWMRP had two components:

  1. Dolphin population monitoring and habitat modelling
  2. Marine Mammal Health Project

Data collection during Stage 2 of the SWMRP built upon that of Stage 1, with a continuation of dolphin population monitoring resulting in seven years of year-round boat-based photo-identification surveys. This large dataset, which included the accumulation of sex data on a large number of individuals, facilitated the PhD research of Kate Sprogis, which focussed on sex-specific patterns in abundance, home range and habitat use.

Seasonal abundance estimates for adult female and adult male dolphins.

Seasonal abundance estimates for adult female and adult male dolphins in the waters off Bunbury, WA. These estimates were produced from seven years of population monitoring data collected during Stages 1-2 of the SWMRP. Source: Sprogis et al. (2016).

Bulletins_abund_home_range

The above Research Bulletins provide plain-english summaries of two of Kate’s chapters and resulting publications. Left: a sex-specific analysis of the population data collected during Stages 1 and 2 of the SWMRP (pdf here). Right: an investigation of how the home ranges of bottlenose dolphins vary between the sexes and different habitats (pdf here).

Stage 2 also saw the introduction of the Marine Mammal Health Project, which focuses on collecting data on cetacean health and causes of mortality, primarily from examinations of deceased, stranded animals.

MUCRU Veterinary pathologists perform a post-mortem of a bottlenose dolphin which stranded in WA's south-west.

MUCRU Veterinary pathologists perform a post-mortem of a bottlenose dolphin which stranded in WA’s south-west.

The combined dataset from Stages 1-2 were also utilised by MUCRU students Carissa King and Lisa-Marie Harrison towards the successful completion of their Honours degrees. Carissa used photo-identification images to investigate the prevalence of shark bites on dolphins in Bunbury waters in order to better understand the shark predation risk faced by dolphins. Lisa-Marie Harrison also used photo-identification images, this time to develop a standardised method for the comparing skin lesions observed on bottlenose dolphins in coastal areas.

A group of bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Bunbury, WA. Photo: Kate Sprogis, MUCRU.

A group of bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Bunbury, WA. Photo: Kate Sprogis, MUCRU.

Publications associated with Stage 2

Completed theses 

A dolphin surfacing off Back Beach, Bunbury

Bottlenose dolphin surfacing off Back Beach, Bunbury, WA. Photo: Kate Sprogis, MUCRU.

Blogs associated with Stage 2

“Lumpy’s” calf “Limpet” surfacing in the Leschenault Estuary

“Lumpy’s” calf “Limpet” surfacing in the Leschenault Estuary, Bunbury, WA. Photo:Kate Sprogis, MUCRU.

Stage 2 partners

Logo_compilation_Stage_2

 

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.