Habitats, Biodiversity Assessments and Baselines
1.1.1 Distribution, species and environmental drivers of benthic biodiversity
1.1.2 Key ecological processes in Kimberley benthic communities: recruitment , herbivory and predation
1.1.3 Ecological connectivity of Kimberley marine communities
The population of humpback whales that migrate along the west coast of Australia and calve in the Kimberley region of Western Australia is increasing in size.
The reports below were commissioned by Woodside and coordinated by the Western Australian Marine Science Institution.
This study aimed to describe the migratory distribution and behaviour of pygmy blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) that feed in the Perth Canyon region off the coast of Western Australia. A total of twelve tags were successfully deployed on pygmy blue whales.
The Final Report – is available to download below.
In its fourth year, the joint WAMSI and Two Moons Whale and Marine Research Base independent humpback whale survey kicked off on Sunday 29th July 2012 at Pender Bay, located 175 km north of Broome, along the remote Kimberley coast (Figure 1 provides the location).
A large amount of marine data has been collected by WAMSI projects. In the past, marine data has often not been catalogued, described or stored in an accessible repository. This makes discovery and re-use difficult, as it requires personal knowledge of the research and/or researcher.
Since 2008 an unprecedented number of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have stranded in Western Australia (WA). Between 1989 and 2007 the mean number of humpback whales ashore was between 2 and 3 animals (range: 0-5). In 2008 there were 13 strandings followed by 46 in 2009 and 16 in 2010.
Today (Tuesday 12th July) the WAMSI cetacean research team at Pender Bay witnessed a birthing of a humpback calf 3.5 km due north of the observation point. The mother came into the bay from the seaward side and proceeded to exhibit strange behaviours, including rolling on her back. Moments later the research team observed the mother lifting the newly born calf out of the water on her nose.
In near perfect conditions, the 2011 Kimberley Humpback Whale Survey commenced on 30 June at the Two Moons Whale & Marine Research Base. This is the third year of whale survey undertaken in Pender Bay 175 km north of Broome. Data from the previous two years of survey were recently presented at the WAMSI RSWA Kimberley Marine & Coastal Science Symposium in May.