Researchers from the NZ Whale and Dolphin Trust have had an excellent summer field season. Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson spent a couple of months studying Hector’s dolphins at Banks Peninsula and are now back in Dunedin, teaching at Otago University.
Tom Brough has started a new project studying Hector’s dolphin habitat preferences. He is using acoustic data loggers in several bays around Banks Peninsula to see which areas the dolphins prefer and why. New echo-sounder equipment is about to be installed on his research boat Grampus, which will allow him to find out more about the bottom type, habitat structure and fish life in each of these bays.
The mouth breathing dolphin, seen several times this year:
Every time it surfaces, it opens its mouth. Most of the air going into and coming out of the dolphin appears to be doing so through the mouth. To our knowledge this is a first! More information on our Facebook site.
Marta Guerra has been studying sperm whales off Kaikoura and Dave Johnston is studying bottlenose dolphins in Fiordland. Watch this space for updates on their research …