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How has the world changed for whale and dolphin protection?

A veteran conservationist looks back… I’m Dr Mike Bossley and I’ve been engaged in research, conservation and education for the past 50 years. I’ve worked with and for WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation for about 25 of those years, having headed-up Greenpeace Australia in the late 1970s and early 80s. Although technically semi-retired, here I…

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The things we do at WDC Australasia

Our Manager of Science & Education in Australasia, Dr. Mike Bossley, will retire at the end of the month after over 12 years of dedicated work for WDC. Mike is conservationist and scientist with all his heart. During most of his early life he worked as a university lecturer, while moonlighting for environmental groups. He has…

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Is this dolphin family doomed?

Wave was one of the matriachs of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary. She was born about 1992 and had the first (Bronny, a male) of her six calves in 2002. Her second calf (Ripple, a female) was born in 2006. Her last three calves all died and Wave disappeared after the death of her last calf…

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Citizens in Science – meet the Dolphin Watchers of Kangaroo Island

This blog post is written by volunteer Charlotte Foster, who has spent the past few months in Australia… G’day! Two and a half months into my travels and it’s strange to think my time in Australia is up. This blog looks back over a particularly fond 6 days with citizen science-based project ‘Dolphin Watch’, the inspirational…

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Where is Wave?

Some worrying news from WDC’s dolphin adoption programme in Adelaide, Australia… Port River resident Wave has not been seen since mid-September and anxiety is mounting among local dolphin watchers. Wave was sighted with a very small dead calf we suspect was still born on September 10 and, as is normal in the species, protected it…

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New Zealand announces new whale sanctuary

The NZ government has just launched the Kaikoura Whale Sanctuary on the east coast of the South Island. The area is biologically rich and includes 500m deep ocean canyons which are home to giant squid which is the preferred prey of sperm whales. The sanctuary is nearly 5000 square kilometres in area and provides protection…

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Dolphins, genetics and conservation

This past week saw the identification of yet another new species of dolphin (an Australian humpback dolphin called Sousa sahulensis): http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/03/australian-snubfin-and-humpback-dolphins-at-risk-of-localised-extinction?utm_content=buffer59341&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer Advances in the use of genetic profiling of dolphins reveals that coastal populations are made up of increasingly smaller and relatively isolated units, rendering them especially susceptible to local extinction. These fine scale genetic…

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Learning to rescue stranded whales in Adelaide

Whales and dolphins swimming free in the ocean are the very essence of controlled grace. Stranded on shore they are pathetically helpless. There appear to be many reasons cetaceans strand, including getting lost and confused, being sick or injured, or being chased there by predators such as sharks and orcas. Evidence is accumulating that loud…

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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…

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