Monday, 19 December 2011

Dolphin Calf makes a splash

The famous Monkey Mia dolphins in the world heritage-listed Shark Bay area have welcomed a second calf for the season.

Static is the second calf of Shock, a member of the wild dolphin group that regularly visits the internationally renowned tourist resort about 800 kilometres north of Perth.

Static's arrival follows the birth of a calf named Piper, born to Piccolo in October.

The name Static was chosen because the calf is part of a dolphin research program involving echo locations and it carries on the theme of its mother's name.

Monkey Mia has been home to an international research project on Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins since 1984.

In the 2010-11 season, the WA Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) recorded more than 80,000 visits to the Monkey Mia resort.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion said DEC staff at Monkey Mia believed Static was born in mid-November, but the announcement was delayed to keep the calf safe.

"It is important that mother and calf be carefully protected in the first few weeks of the calf's life to ensure the greatest chance of survival, which is why we've held off on announcing Static's arrival until now," he said.

Mr Marmion said dolphin calves fed every 10 to 15 minutes, and the mother's milk was rich and fatty, allowing calves to grow up to seven times their birth weight in the first year.

"To enable Shock to feed her calf, DEC staff at Monkey Mia will shorten the morning interaction times when she is in attendance with her calf, allowing her to return to deeper water, so that the calf can be fed," he said.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8391971

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