Sonic A Real Boom For WA Dolphins

Sonic A Real Boom For WA Dolphins

Western Australia Minister for Environment Donna Faragher

Monkey Mia’s First New Dolphin Calf For This Season 

Victor P Taffa

The birth of a New Dolphin Calf is being celebrated at Monkey Mia today.

Dolphins generally give birth in summer and the first new calf of the season was brought to the beach by its mother, Surprise, yesterday morning.

Monkey Mia’s newest dolphin brings the number of regular dolphins that visit Monkey Mia to 15.

Environment Minister Donna Faragher said the calf, named Sonic, was born to Surprise, one of the adult females in the Monkey Mia beach dolphin group.  Surprise has been visiting the beach since the late 1980’s and this was her sixth calf.

“Little is known about how Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) develop their communication skill in the first few weeks of life.” Mrs. Faragher said.

“The new calf and mother are part of a current research project which is studying the development of echolocation in very young dolphins.  By recording the signals made by the new calf, researchers can understand how the echolocation signals develop with age, and how the calf uses them to investigate objects in the water.”

“The name Sonic was chosen to acknowledge the research project and the long history of research on dolphin behaviour at Monkey Mia in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.” Mrs. Faragher said.

“Surprise brought her new calf to the beach for the first morning interaction on November 18. The calf, most likely born on November 17, and mother are doing well.”

Both mother and calf are being managed in line with established protocols designed to protect the welfare of the dolphins while they become used to visitors being near the new calf.

These protocols will continue to be in place until both mother and calf are settled, which may take up to three or four weeks.

WA Minister for Environment Donna Faragher

WA Minister for Environment Donna Faragher