MMF and Dr Kate were featured on the new season of BBC Foxtel History Channel’s Coast Australia. After several days of filming in March and May 2014, the episode aired in January 2015. Hosted by marine biologist, Professor Emma Johnston, the focus of the feature was the discovery of the Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis) and the population in the Gippsland Lakes.
Dr Kate recaps “The illusive Burrunan were no where to be found on the film crew’s first visit to the Lakes. We had observed a large pod of our resident Burrunan the day before…the difficulties of working with a very small population!” Persistence paid off when, on the second visit the Burrunan dolphins put on a great display.
As “….and ACTION” rang out across Blonde Bay, Professor Johnston asked questions about the discovery of the Burrunan, the multiple lines of scientific evidence and the formal naming in 2011. “Finding a new species of large marine mammals is an extremely rare achievement” says Professor Johnston “I’m desperate to see Kate’s dolphin but finding them in 600km2 of Lakes is not easy and there’s another reason they’re difficult to spot, the Burrunan dolphin population is tiny.”
We were extremely honoured to have Coast Australia feature our Burrunan, along-side some amazing research being conducted across Australia’s amazing coastline.
The perilously small numbers mean the new species is already under threat, but Kate hopes her ongoing research will bring her dolphin back from the brink.
Professor Emma Johnston, Coast Australia host.