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Dolphins captured for captivity in Taiji. Image: Hans Peter Roth

Loved and killed – whales and dolphins in Japan

Protests and criticism from outside Japan in response to the slaughter of whales and dolphins...
Irrawaddy dolphin

Helping fishers protect dolphins in Sarawak, Borneo

Fishing nets are bad news for dolphins and porpoises, so we're working with local fishers...
Dolphin watching from Chanonry Point, Scotland. Image: WDC/Charlie Phillips

Discovering inner peace – whale and dolphin watching and mental wellbeing

Guest blog If you've ever seen whales or dolphins in the wild, you'll know that...
Whale tail

An ocean of hope

In a monumental, jaw-dropping demonstration of global community, the nations of the world made history...
The infamous killing cove at Taiji, Japan

Why the Taiji dolphin hunt can never be justified

Supporters of the dolphin slaughter in Japan argue that killing a few hundred dolphins every...
Image: Peter Linforth

Tracking whales from space will help us save them

Satellite technology holds one of the keys to 21st century whale conservation, so we're exploring...
Fishers' involvement is crucial. Image: WDC/JTF

When porpoises and people overlap

We're funding a project in Hong Kong that's working with fishing communities to help save...

Mindful conservation – why we need a new respect for nature

'We should look at whales and dolphins as the indigenous people of the seas -...

Want to name an Australian baby dolphin?

I have been studying a community of some 50 resident dolphins living in the Port River estuary (Adelaide, Australia) for the past 25 years. These dolphins are perhaps the most urbanised in the whole world, living as they do almost in the heart of a city of a million people.

About twenty years ago I observed a mum with a young dolphin with a vicious looking crescent scar across its whole dorsal fin. The scar was almost certainly the result of a shark attack. Presumably the calf’s mother had somehow repelled the shark and saved the young dolphin’s life.

It is always hard finding appropriate names for newly identified dolphins but in this case it was easy: this young dolphin with the shark attack scar had to be called Scarlett.

One of the joys of conducting long term research on the same group of dolphins is watching them develop over the years. Particularly satisfying is seeing female calves grow up and have their own calves, especially when, like Scarlett, their early lives were so precarious.

Dolphins in this community mostly give birth in late summer and during a survey last week I was overjoyed to discover Scarlett with a brand new calf. This calf still has clearly defined “foetal folds”, creases in its skin from when it was squashed up in its mother’s womb during the long 12 months of gestation, indicating it is still only a few days old.

WDC Australasia is relaunching our dolphin adoption program and we have decided to give new adopters the opportunity to name Scarlett’s new baby. We will choose what we think is the best name in a few weeks.

For further information about adopting an Australian dolphin please contact our Australian office at: [email protected]