Research Highlights Flood Impact On Dolphins

from ABC News Online

It seems the water quality problems associated with floods could affect not only fish, but bottlenose dolphins as well.

Southern Cross University PhD candidate and marine zoologist Christine Fury has been studying the effects of the past four NSW north coast floods on dolphins in the Clarence and Richmond rivers.

She says a lack of food in the flooded waterways and poor water quality forces dolphins out to sea, putting them at a greater risk of shark attack.

She says her results are far worse for the Richmond River than for the Clarence.

"The Clarence River population is doing a lot better in the water quality, because I measure the water quality and the water quality is doing a lot better in the Clarence than it is in the Richmond populations," she said.

"I think one of the reasons for that is that they've been opening the floodgates, particularly at times when it's not flooding."