In March 2011, I began data collection for my PhD research. My assistants and I are apart of the South West Marine Research Program. Along line transects, we are collecting photo identification data on the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin population around Bunbury. The field work protocols have been continued on from Holly Smith’s PhD field design. To date, there has been four consecutive years of data collection (2007-2010), with data collected every season.
In June this year we completed our Autumn data collection.
We were on the boat for 14 days, in two zones, with 35 dolphin sightings. The birthing season (summer/Autumn) was higher than normal, with 19 new calves born from November 2010- June 2011. Sadly, in June, we had a young male dolphin stranded on the back beach.