Snubfin dolphins under threat

snubfin dolphin

Snubfin Dolphin Photo by G. Parra, Flinders University

The Australian snubfin dolphin, which closely resembles the Irrawaddy dolphin, is Australia’s only endemic dolphin species. These dolphins are found in small, isolated populations inhabiting shallow coastal waters around northern Australia from Broome to the Brisbane River. The snubfin dolphin is not thought to be a common species and is listed as ‘rare’ under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.  These small population groups of snubfin dolphins are particularly vulnerable to site-specific threats and may be under significant threat from the recently proposed large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments in Gladstone, northern Queensland. The current proposal includes allowing dredging of the Gladstone port area to accommodate more shipping traffic for the LNG developments. This particular area is home to snubfin dolphins and these proposed site-specific activities would threaten the critical habitats of these rare dolphins.

Source: Department of Environment, Water, Heritage & the Arts, WWF Australia, The Observer, Gladstone.