The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) is responding to a potential mass stranding of dolphins at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve on Western Australia’s south coast.
Between 100-150 pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata are currently in shallow water at Whalers Cove, south-east of Albany. There is one dead dolphin.
DEC was notified of the situation by the local sea rescue organisation at about 9am this morning. Regional leader nature conservation Deon Utber said it was unusual for a large pod of dolphins to strand in this region.
“The good thing is they are not beached, but are milling around in the water,” he said.
“They aren’t leaving the area at the moment but we’re hoping that with the high tide this afternoon they will move off into deeper water under their own steam.
“In the event this doesn’t happen, we are putting together a strategy to try and drive them out to sea.
“At the moment the main thing is not to disturb the animals.”
DEC has established an Incident Management Team at Whalers Cove and five wildlife officers are travelling from Perth this afternoon to assist local officers.
Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve has been closed to the public until further notice, as a result of the stranding.
Mr Utber said if volunteers were required to support the DEC operation, an announcement would be made on local radio stations.
Media contact: DEC Media 6467 5555