The Bottlenose – always a crowd pleaser

One of the great joys of the Southern Ocean Walk is seeing dolphins in their natural habitat.

Despite the vastness of the ocean it is surprising how often they can be spotted at close range just metres off the shore line as if to accompany us on our travels.

There are at least 2 pods of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus) that frequently congregate at key points along our trail.

The Boat Harbour Cove is a particularly promising venue to spot them with its elevated view.  In excess of 50 members have been counted in this pod and they are a good indicator of the health of our marine life.

Anecdotally, the cove appears to be a resting place and training centre for the young calves.  On a good day wonderful displays of acrobatic prowess are given as they surf the waves only to bail out and head skywards at the last moment.

Local volunteers and scientists have formed effective alliances at Victor Harbour and Kangaroo Island to collect valuable information on the bottlenose dolphin.  This volunteer project is based on the citizen science concept.  Information collected can contribute to forming a more comprehensive picture of this fascinating marine mammal.

However, there is a bit of a gap along the South West Fleurieu Coast from Tunkalilla Beach and Deep Creek through to Fisheries Beach.

Whilst there is plenty of general knowledge available on the Bottlenose dolphin which appears in many parts of the world less is known about their presence in South Australian waters.  Marine scientists from Flinders University have examined DNA samples which suggest that there may be a sub-specie of the Bottlenose dolphin living in the Southern waters of Australia.

Through our regular visitation to this area we continue to record helpful information which can be incorporated into this project.  Why not be part of this wonderful experience!