WHALES & DOLPHINS

MONITORING OF  WHALES AND DOLPHINS

Our marine biologists and guides collect observational data about all whales & dolphins spotted whilst onboard the vessels of our partner company, Dyer Island Cruises. All sightings are mapped and this creates a knowledge foundation that is used for various studies. On each trip, we take readings of water temperature, pressure and oxygen levels.

The collection of this observational & environmental data is critical to the understanding of the cetaceans frequenting our area and the studies of various biologists.

WHALES

IUCN Classification – LEAST CONCERN

EUBALAENA AUSTRALIS

Southern right Whale

They frequent our area between June to November / December and are here to mate and calve. The DICT collect whale faeces for a study on feeding habits – the whales do not generally feed when here but some feeding behaviour is observed. We have supported genetic studies and collect non-invasive samples when required. Where possible we participate in acoustic research. We work co-operatively on projects with the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit situated at the University of Pretoria and we support their annual whale aerial survey

MEGAPTERA NOVAEANGLIAE

Humpback Whale

This species migrates along our coastline throughout June to August, heading toward warner waters off Mozambique. They head back again usually around December. All sightings are logged.

IUCN Classification – LEAST CONCERN

IUCN Classification – LEAST CONCERN

BALAENOPTERA BRYDEI

Bryde’s Whale

The area has a year round population and all sightings are mapped. There are very few studies done on Bryde’s whale along the SA coastline. Those done have included population studies and genetics. The DICT is part of the on-going project to collect images of Bryde’s whales frequenting our area. These images are recorded in a national database and will contribute to provide more information about this species that are threatened by overfishing.

WHALES

IUCN Classification – LEAST CONCERN

EUBALAENA AUSTRALIS

Southern right Whale

They frequent our area between June to November / December and are here to mate and calve. The DICT collect whale faeces for a study on feeding habits – the whales do not generally feed when here but some feeding behaviour is observed. We have supported genetic studies and collect non-invasive samples when required. Where possible we participate in acoustic research. We work co-operatively on projects with the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit situated at the University of Pretoria and we support their annual whale aerial survey

IUCN Classification – LEAST CONCERN

MEGAPTERA NOVAEANGLIAE

Humpback Whale

This species migrates along our coastline throughout June to August, heading toward warner waters off Mozambique. They head back again usually around December. All sightings are logged.

IUCN Classification – LEAST CONCERN

BALAENOPTERA BRYDEI

Bryde’s Whale

The area has a year round population and all sightings are mapped. There are very few studies done on Bryde’s whale along the SA coastline. Those done have included population studies and genetics. The DICT is part of the on-going project to collect images of Bryde’s whales frequenting our area. These images are recorded in a national database and will contribute to provide more information about this species that are threatened by overfishing.

DOLPHINS

IUCN classification – ENDANGERED

SOUSA PLUMBEA

Humpback dolphin

Data collected from humpback dolphins contributes to the broader Sousa Project. Through data collection and sharing, the project aims to assess in detail the population status of humpback dolphins along our coastlines. Photo ID’s assist with the identification of individuals and provides answers on population size, calving intervals and success. Data collected by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and Dyer Island Cruises have already allowed for the identification of about 30 different humpback dolphins from the Greater Dyer Island area.

TURSIOPS ADUNCUS

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin

Family groups are sometimes seen moving through the area and sightings are logged.

IUCN classification – DATA DEFICIENT

IUCN classification – DATA DEFICIENT

DELPHINUS CAPENSIS

Common dolphin

We often see large groups of this species moving through the area. The location and behaviour is recorded.

ORCINUS ORCA

Killer whale

We participate in collaborative effort of sightings data that shows the movement and behaviour of orca around the South Africa coastline.

IUCN classification – DATA DEFICIENT

DOLPHINS

IUCN classification – ENDANGERED

SOUSA PLUMBEA

Humpback dolphin

Data collected from humpback dolphins contributes to the broader Sousa Project. Through data collection and sharing, the project aims to assess in detail the population status of humpback dolphins along our coastlines. Photo ID’s assist with the identification of individuals and provides answers on population size, calving intervals and success. Data collected by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and Dyer Island Cruises have already allowed for the identification of about 30 different humpback dolphins from the Greater Dyer Island area.

IUCN classification – DATA DEFICIENT