THE NUM­BERS

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

MUR­DOCH Univer­sity's Delphine Cha­banne has been re­search­ing dol­phins in the Swan Can­ning river­park for four years. The PhD can­di­date said, based on sight­ing fre­quency, the river­park was home to about 23 adult/ju­ve­nile dol­phins and six calves. The last calf was born in late Jan­uary or early Fe­bru­ary this year. Ms Cha­banne said the Perth dol­phin com­mu­nity was do­ing well, but over the past four years, four calves had died. She also said the small size of the dol­phin com­mu­nity made the mam­mals vul­ner­a­ble. “Ev­ery day, dol­phins in the Swan Can­ning river­park face chal­lenges such as noise dis­tur­bance, boat strikes, en­tan­gle­ment with fish­ing lines or other rub­bish,” she said. “Sum­mer-au­tumn sea­sons are gen­er­ally de­scribed as the crit­i­cal sea­son be­cause of the in­crease of recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties in the Swan Can­ning river­park. “Also, this is the time of the year when dol­phins give birth. Calves are nat­u­rally ex­tremely vul­ner­a­ble with a high mor­tal­ity rate (30 to 50 per cent).”

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