Bottlenose Dolphins, Moreton Bay, Australia

Bottlenose Dolphins, Moreton Bay, Australia

South East Queensland is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions and the surrounding coastal and marine waters are inhabited by a diverse number of marine species.  The region has and continues to be extensively modified through urban development and growth of commercial industries, including tourism.  Some recent reports suggest the continual degradation of the water quality in the catchment, which can have major effects on the coastal and marine ecosystems downstream.

The South East Queensland region has one of the highest marine mammal stranding rates in Australia, yet very little research into these populations has been undertaken.  Due to the large number of human activities that are occurring in this area, including, urban development, industrial and commercial industries, regular dredging, tourism and recreational boat traffic, the health of the coastal dolphins is a growing concern. Dolphin Research Australia’s Gold Coast & Tweed Heads Dolphin Project aims to obtain baseline information on the coastal resident and migratory cetacean species.  This study will be the first study to quantify the population status, habitat use and ecology of the marine mammals that inhabit the  Gold Coast & Tweed Heads region.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the resident species in this area includes the threatened Australian humpback dolphin (Sousa sahulensis), along with Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).

This project was funded by the Australian Marine Mammal Centre in 2010 for the first year of the project.  Funding is currently being sort to continue this long-term research project.

If you would like to support this project, please contact us info(at)

If you live, work or visit the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads region, you can assist us in monitoring the dolphin populations of the region by reporting your dolphin sightings via our ‘Report A Dolphin Sighting page’.

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