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    10029: Roebuck Bay fine scale habitat modelling to determine key habitat for marine wildlife and prey project

    Snubfin dolphin. Roebuck Bay may play a central role in the movements of this species along the coast for foraging, socialising and mating, and in maintaining genetic diversity. Photo copyright of Deborah Thiele
    Snubfin dolphin. Roebuck Bay may play a central role in the movements of this species along the coast for foraging, socialising and mating, and in maintaining genetic diversity. Photo copyright of Deborah Thiele

    Understanding habitat requirements for different species is a key to developing and implementing effective biodiversity conservation plans.

    With the help of State NRM Program funding, this project combines year-round marine wildlife surveys in Roebuck Bay with measurements of environmental variables correlated with the distribution of the endemic snubfin dolphin and their prey.

    Measurements will be made with a multiparameter water quality sonde system, used from a small boat. A year of these measurements will provide a seasonally sensitive data series for ecological modelling of predators and prey. This method has been used successfully to identify foraging habitats for predators without the need for expensive and difficult prey sampling.

    This work will result in the identification of key dolphin foraging habitat in Roebuck Bay, an important tool for marine park planning, particularly for determinations on zoning.

    Investment: $ 26 950
    Delivery organisation: Environs Kimberley
    Project duration: July 2011 - December 2012
    Location: Roebuck Bay, Broome
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