Dolphin research proves astonishing

RESEARCH into the feeding habits, movement and population numbers of dolphins at Tweed Heads has revealed astonishing results.

Dolphin researcher Amanda Peterson said at least two species of dolphin are travelling up the Tweed River as far as Murwillumbah to feed, displaying behaviour that is uncharacteristic of their species and of their fellow dolphins inhabiting waters further north.

"We are finding Indo Pacific Bottle Nose and Indo Pacific Hump Backs in turbid waters far upstream," Ms Peterson said.

"This is very unusual, as the species usually inhabit less turbid water with higher salinity.

"It's interesting that this is their preferred habitat," Ms Peterson said.

Ms Peterson's research is run through the Southern Cross University and is the first of its kind at Tweed Heads.

Research involves tracking the movement patterns of dolphins and their population numbers.

Studies include water analysis to see what type of water the dolphins prefer.

Ms Peterson is assisted by Marine Science students from SCU Michael Manley and Josh Aschmann.

"Primary research on the complex ecology of Tweed waterways and local species is vital in planning their future management," Mr Manley said.



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