The Dolphin Watch project focuses on one of the Swan Canning Riverpark’s and Peel-Harvey Estuary’s most iconic species - Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Dolphin Watch is run by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), in collaboration with Curtin University and Murdoch University. Citizen scientists are trained in how to recognize individual dolphins, identify behaviour and record these in defined zones. A Dolphin Watch smartphone app exists to support recording and ensure quality of data entry. This citizen science project is linked to a university-based research program aimed at understanding the Riverpark’s and Estuary’s Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin community, their movement patterns and the influence of anthropogenic noise on the popular iconic animal.   Community involvement is a great boost to the research project and allows information to be gathered on how dolphins use their river and estuarine environments– areas that experience problems such as low oxygen and algal blooms Dolphin Watch is now expanding across the State with future opportunities to collect data on dolphins spotted off the Kimberley coastline not far away.
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