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Research to protect inshore dolphins of Central Queensland continues - 14/07/2017

Humpback dolphin jump credit Maureen Duffy A new season of the Mackay-Whitsundays-Bowen inshore dolphin project is underway. Southern Cross University researcher Daniele Cagnazzi will be operating in the waters around Mackay, the Whitsundays and Bowen during August to collect data on Australian humpback and snubfin dolphins.

Overall, it is estimated that fewer than 300 individuals of each species are found between Hay Point (Mackay) and Abbot Point (Bowen), with Repulse Bay and McCanes Bay being the major hotspots for both species.

Dr Daniele Cagnazzi, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University’s Marine Ecology Research Centre, has been studying the longterm conservation and management of inshore dolphins in Central Queensland since 2006.

“This will be the second season of dedicated monitoring project to estimate abundance and develop spatial distribution models of tropical inshore dolphins between Mackay and Bowen, one of the areas under major human-related stress along the Queensland coast,” he said.

Dr Cagnazzi will also be collecting skin samples which can be used to investigate movement patterns and connectivity of inshore dolphins to better understand and manage the impacts on these dolphins in the region.

“We still know very little about these two endemic species and any information from the public and especially photographs associated with a geographic position will be very much appreciated,” said Dr Cagnazzi.

To share information, contact Dr Cagnazzi directly at

Funding for this project is provided through the Australian Government, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian Geographic Society, Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation, and the Marine Ecology Research Centre at Southern Cross University.

Photo: Not often seen...a humpback dolphin jumping in waters at Bowen (credit: Maureen Duffy).

Media contact: Sharlene King, media officer, Southern Cross University, 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349.

For further information, please contact:
Communications and Publications
Southern Cross University
PO Box 157 • Lismore NSW 2480 • Australia
T +61 2 6620 3508 • e