We have 4 main priorities.
The most pervasive threats across the species’ distribution are habitat degradation and modification, incidental capture in fishing gear and shark control nets, water pollution, climate change and the cumulative impact of these threats.
Habitat loss and degradation has been identified among the primary drivers of population declines of large marine animals. The coastal zone along Snubfin Dolphins’ range, particularly in northwestern Australia and along the central coast of Queensland, has been substantially modified both inland, to allow mining, agricultural and grazing activities, and along the coast to allow industrial ports, marinas, aquaculture and residential developments.
Entanglement or bycatch of dolphins in recreational and commercial fishing gear is one of the most serious threats to marine mammal populations and species around the world (Read et al. 2006, Read 2008). Snubfin Dolphins are susceptible to entanglement, especially in gillnets, which are often found closer to the mouths of rivers, creeks and estuaries where Snubfin Dolphins are more likely to be found.
Sources of human-caused contaminants are likely to increase in the future across northern Australia, as a result of the widespread use of several new pesticides, increasing annual runoff, and rapid urban and industrial development. The water discharge by many rivers across the Snubfin Dolphin’s range in Australia is of poor quality, often with contaminant concentrations expected to cause environmental harm.
The ongoing alteration of coastal systems has greatly undermined the resilience of many biotic communities, populations, and species living in estuaries, making them more vulnerable to environmental stochasticity and anthropogenic stressors. Such effects are likely to be exacerbated when natural systems are subjected to multiple stressors as a result of cumulative impacts and negative synergistic interactions. Recent studies on other inshore dolphin populations living in highly industrialized regions have reported negative population trends.
To help address these threats, we have 4 main priorities.