Dolphin populations returning to normal

MARINE Ecology researcher Dr Daniele Cagnazzi wouldn't breach the subject of why the dolphin population had a significant decrease in numbers in 2011 at a seminar at the Gladstone Library last night.

The Southern Cross University study into the snub nose and humpback dolphins has been running for 9 years and estimates the populations by sightings.

Dr Cagnazzi monitors the numbers of dolphins and their movements by identifying them from the scars on their fins.

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He said the population and movements of the dolphins were returning back to normal.

"We noticed a significant drop in population in Gladstone in 2010-2011 in Gladstone but not in Keppel Bay," he said.

"Between 2011-2015 there were no interactions between the humpback dolphins in the Gladstone Harbour and Keppel Bay.

"But today we found some Gladstone dolphins in Keppel Bay."

When asked whether it was because of the floods or the dredging of the harbour, he could would not say what he believed the cause was because his study was on the statistics of the population not the cause of the changes.

He did say that the shape of the Gladstone Harbour in comparison to Keppel Bay would have retained the flood runoff for longer which could explain the difference in population changes between the two areas.

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