AMMCF

Applied Research

Conducting applied research, and working with Australian and International scientists and researchers to establish and advance the knowledge, conservation and protection of Australia’s marine mammals.

Aims

  • To conduct applied marine mammal research;

  • To be at the leading edge of marine mammal scientific endeavour;

  • To provide support for affiliated research projects;

  • To publish & present results in international peer-reviewed publications and conferences; and

  • To respond to marine mammal stranding events and provide scientific input and recovery assistance for various stakeholders.

Applied Research Initiatives

Project Burrunan

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Project Burrunan Project Burrunan is AMMCFs founding flagship project…a crucial conservation project. As one of only four new dolphin discoveries world-wide since the late 1800s, the Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis) is endemic to southern and south-eastern Australian waters (Charlton-Robb et al. 2011). The species was described using skull and external morphology in addition to numerous genetic regions, consistent with recommendations of the

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Project Burrunan – Gippsland Lakes

As the Gippsland Lakes is one of only two places in Victoria where the newly described Burrunan dolphin, Tursiops australis, has an established a resident population, greater scientific knowledge underpinning the correct management and conservation is crucial.  The specific objectives of the Project Burrunan – Gippsland is to gain better estimates of overall population size and structure, levels of residency through genetic and individual dolphin

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Project Burrunan – Port Phillip Bay

Port Phillip Bay is one of only two places in Victoria where the newly described Burrunan dolphin, Tursiops australis, has an established a resident population, greater scientific knowledge underpinning the correct management and conservation is crucial.  The specific objectives of the Project Burrunan – Port Phillip Bay is to gain better estimates of overall population size and structure, levels of residency through genetic and individual dolphin

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Social structure and alliance formation of the Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis)

 

In numerous mammal species strong social alliances form which provide an overall fitness advantage for the group, population and/or species. Long lived animals across a variety of taxa, from primates (e.g. de Waal 1984; Cheney and Seyfarth 1986) through cetaceans (e.g. Bigg et al. 1990; Connor and Whitehead 2005; Baird et al. 2008), display considerable social complexity with interactions between individuals and hierarchical modularity of social

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Geospatial analysis of marine mammal records, Victoria

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37% of all marine mammals are at a risk of extinction, with 25% of marine mammal species listed as ‘threatened’. Marine mammals in the southern ocean face many threats that potentially impact on their long-term survival, including habitat degradation, anthropogenic activities, over-exploitation of prey species, and oceanic and environmental changes. In addition, the loss of top apex predators has the potential to seriously impact on lower trophic

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Mixed species assemblages: What do Burrunan dolphins, common dolphins and fur seals have in common?

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Mixed species assemblages (MSAs), noted as two or more species interacting and forming one interspecific group, can vary between closely related species to those from differing Orders. Marine mammal MSAs have been documented to provide foraging, social and reproductive advantages and can assist in protection against predators. MSAs are not necessarily mutually beneficial with aggressive and harassing behaviour also noted. Port Phillip Bay, Victoria,

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Identifying the sources and bioaccumulation mechanisms of mercury in aquatic coastal food webs of Australia

This collaborative research project, led by the Institute of Applied Ecology (University of Canberra), will assess the pathways for mercury (Hg) that enter and can be transmitted through food chains in coastal marine settings in south-eastern Australia. Mercury is one of the greatest threats to coastal and marine populations in Australia and worldwide as it has potential to both bioaccumulate and biomagnify at the top of food chains. Iconic marine

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Cetacean Biodiversity Assessment

Cetacean Biodiversity Assessment 37% of all marine mammals are at a risk of extinction, with 25% of marine mammal species listed as ‘threatened’. Whales and dolphins in the southern ocean face many threats that potentially impact on their long-term survival; including habitat degradation, anthropogenic activities, over-exploitation of prey species, oceanic and environmental changes. In addition, the loss of top apex predators, such as cetaceans,

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Cetacean ‘hot spot’ and associations with Victorian National Marine Park and Sanctuary Zones

Cetacean ‘hot spot’ and associations with Victorian National Marine Park and Sanctuary Zones Approximately 6.2% of Victorian marine waters are ‘highly protected areas that conserve unique marine habitats in their natural state’. Thirteen Marine National Parks and 11 Marine Sanctuary Zones exist across coastal Victoria, including Port Phillip Bay. In addition, 14 Commonwealth Marine Reserves covering 388,464 km2 have been established in the

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