Stage 3 of the SWMRP commenced in 2014, and has three components:
- Assessing potential population-level effects of human activity on dolphins
- Dolphin population monitoring
- Marine Mammal Health Project
Stage 3 sees a continuation of the dolphin population monitoring and health research, and introduces new research focused on assessing potential population-level consequences of human activity on the dolphins in the area. The latter forms the PhD project of MUCRU student, John Symons.
Human-wildlife interactions are common among species which rely on habitats subject to human activity, such as coastal dolphins. There is increasing interest and concern, globally, as to what effect sources of disturbance may have on wildlife populations, particularly how multiple stressors may act cumulatively. The long-term, standardised data collection of Stages 1 and 2 of the SWMRP afford a rare and valuable opportunity to undertake such investigations. Results will provide a host of important data to inform the conservation and management of coastal dolphins.
Photos of bottlenose dolphins in the waters off Bunbury, including illegal human-wildlife interactions. Photos: MUCRU.
Blogs associated with Stage 3
- Launch of Stage 3 of the South West Marine Research Program
- Two strandings in one week: killer whale calf and an adult bottlenose dolphin
- Stranding of long-finned pilot whales in Bunbury: as it unfolded
- Bunbury’s South West Marine Research Program receives support for Stage 3