The Swan-Canning riverpark is home to a pod of 19 bottlenose dolphins which, as at September 2018, included nine adult females; seven adult males; seven juveniles and five calves.
The dolphins live in a precarious environment. They are vulnerable to the impacts of decreasing water quality through rubbish pollution and chemical run-off from agriculture. The pod is particularly at risk of entanglement in fishing nets, and injury from boats and other human recreational activity.
Reduced water quality and other negative impacts on the dolphins’ environment may make them more susceptible to disease, including the deadly cetacean morbillivirus, which killed a well-loved mother and calf, Highnitch and Splash, in August 2018. Six of the pod died from the virus in 2009.
While small, the Swan River dolphin sub-population is an iconic part of the river system and cherished by the people of Perth. The dolphins are a key part of what makes this part of the world so special.
Alison will continue to advocate for laws and regulations which protect the Swan River and its water quality, to ensure the continued survival of the dolphins, as well as all flora and fauna associated with the river system.