Dolphin behaviour next on the list

Dr Liz Hawkins.
Dr Liz Hawkins. David Nielsen

A TEAM of Southern Cross University researchers and local marine parks staff have once again hit the waters of the Cape Byron Marine Park to monitor the movements and behaviour of dolphins and assess the levels of dolphin-human encounters.

The Dolphin Ecology and Acoustics Project team, led by Dr Liz Hawkins, are conducting their summer field work in conjunction with Cape Byron Marine Park staff from January 14 to February 18.

The research team will be observing the dolphins on land from the Cape Byron Lighthouse and in the water from kayaks and by boat.

"We have been monitoring this dolphin population since 2003. During that time we have identified over 550 individual dolphins. We have also identified the area off the Cape Byron Lighthouse as critical habitat for the resident dolphin community," Dr Hawkins said.

"This time of year is the peak birthing time for our local dolphin populations. It is important that anyone who encounters a group of dolphins does so with care and abides by the NSW dolphin watching regulations (do not approach dolphins closer than 50 metres or closer than 150 metres if calves are present)."

Dr Hawkins said the mothers and calves that could be regularly found resting near to shore and close to Watego's Beach were vulnerable to disturbance, particularly at this time of year.

"These resident females and their calves are the most vulnerable dolphins in the population as they are living in a zone where there is the chance of high levels of human interactions so we need to monitor them closely to ensure their protection," she said.

The Dolphin Ecology and Acoustics Project aims to examine the ecology of dolphins and monitor the population dynamics, trends and health over time. This information will assist in ensuring their ongoing protection within the Cape Byron Marine Park.

The researchers have also been conducting studies in the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads area and off Coffs Harbour.

The public are invited to participate in the research by reporting their dolphin sightings at the Project's website

Topics:  cape byron marine park southern cross university

Vikings, horses, art and showbags at North Coast National

Vikings (left to right) Gabriel Hooper, Peter Romilio and Michael Rowe with a replica model of a Viking ship on display at the North Coast National Show.

PHOTO GALLERY: The iconic Lismore show is on today

Walk for human rights and refugees


Lismore will host a walk for refugees and human rights Saturday

Water main replacement means road closures

The area that will be affected by the water main replacement this weekend.

There will be a temporary road closure as a water main gets replaced

Local Partners

Finishing touches to beautify Bangalow Weir

FINAL finishes on the Bangalow Weir are underway and residents are encouraged to join an upcoming beautify planting day.

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Jethro Tull is back to Bluesfest

ICONIC: Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull at Bluesfest 2011.

Jethro Tull returns to Bluesfest next April

Beth Hart will set the stage on fire

ON FIRE: Beth Hart, coming to Bluesfest 2017.

American singer/songwriter Beth Hart

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge