Water health newsroom

June 10, 2010

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water health newsroomThe investigation into six Bottlenose Dolphin deaths in the Swan Canning Riverpark in 2009 has drawn to a close. The Chief Scientist of Western Australia’s report has been presented to the Minister for Environment and the Murdoch University investigation was delivered as a peer-reviewed Technical Report.

The Murdoch University investigation was conducted by a multidisciplinary team including Marine Mammal Health Project Coordinator and veterinary epidemiologist Dr Carly Holyoake, animal biologist Dr Hugh Finn, veterinary pathologists Dr Nahiid Stephens and Dr Padraig Duignan (Melbourne University), members of Murdoch's Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research and Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU), including research leader Dr Lars Bejder.

The Murdoch team worked in consultation with Melbourne University, Curtin University of Technology, Swan River Trust, Western Australian Department of Conservation and Environment (DEC), Perth Zoo, Western Australian Department of Agriculture and the University of New South Wales.

Water health press releases

10 Jun 2010 – Report out on 2009 deaths in the Swan River
26 May 2010 – Health check for Hawaii's dolphins
4 Feb 2010 – New fish species discovered
9 Dec 2009 – New Professor tackles sustainable water issues
7 Dec 2009 – State's South-West fish in dire straits
19 Nov 2009 – Investigation of eight Bunbury dolphin deaths
15 Nov 2009 – Murdoch University dolphin research widely reported
13 Nov 2009 – Scientists and agencies investigate dolphin deaths
25 Sep 2008 – Hawaiian government flips out over WA dolphin Doctor
26 Jun 2006 – Long-term sustainability central to Monkey Mia decision

Reports, research and further information

13 Nov 2009 – The Tragedy of the Swan River Dolphins. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Stateline (WA)
2008 – Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research Annual Research Report
2007 – School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology Annual Research Report

Photo gallery – Swan River dolphin postmortems

Images taken during the Murdoch University investigation into the mortalities of six bottlenose dolphins in the Swan Canning Riverpark in 2009.

The Murdoch University investigation was conducted by a multidisciplinary team including animal biologist Dr Hugh Finn, veterinary pathologists Dr Nahiid Stephens and Dr Padraig Duignan, members of the Murdoch University Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research,  Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU), including research leader Dr Lars Bejder, and Marine Mammal Health Project Coordinator and veterinary epidemiologist Dr Carly Holyoake.

Photo gallery – Bunbury dolphins

Images courtesty of Murdoch PhD student, Holly Smith, from the Bunbury Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU).

The members of MUCRU work on both applied and empirical conservation-based research projects. This includes assessing abundance and habitat use, analysing cetacean social structure, mitigating against dolphin by-catch and other areas of research including: foraging ecology, population genetics and assessment of anthropogenic impacts on cetaceans through development and tourism.

Find an expert

Murdoch University has played a key role in investigating the health of dolphin populations in WA. Our experts are internationally recognised in the area of cetacean (whales and dolphins) monitoring, conservation and health.

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Comments (2 responses)

Aaron Albrecht July 19, 2010

So…? What did the study find to be the cause of the dolphins' deaths?

Freya Contos August 2, 2010

Hi Aaron,

The findings were published in another article, which also has the links to the Chief Scientist's Report and the Murdoch team's technical report.

Murdoch Media & Communications Team

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