The 2023 season has been a bumper one with the incidence of mother and baby breaching the likes we have never seen here from basecamp at Wijingarra Butt Butt.
Mothers and calves have given us plenty to be in awe of as they use our waters to give birth and prepare for the journey back south.
Activity has been noticeable inshore compared to any other year of our survey, with the mum and baby breaching a poignant display of the socialisation between mum and child to form a strong bond required to be tight and on the game for the long journey which includes evading predators such as orcas and great whites that will seek to break this family unit en route to southern feeding grounds.
It’s not just in the day. At night the sounds of thumping and vocalisation can be clearly heard from the beach with activity within hundreds of metres of our camp.
In patrol on our boat we clocked a mother and child doing an impressive 40km an hour leaving us behind as they conducted training manouvres.
There has also been the typical and no less significant signs of mating and childbirth, with the humpbacks using the safe inshore waters of Isobel’s bays and inter-tidal waters.
Guests in the Lalang-Garram marine park have been beneficiaries of this bumper season, and with over a month still to go, we look forward to reporting more.
The pictures in this page captured by our team include a newborn infant near the Arraluli whale song heartland of Lungawurro, aerial shots of mother and baby and a taste of the impressive breaching that cannot help but keep us empowered to continue to protect this safe zone for our whales now and into the future.
Toad Zero sparks major concern for our native wildlife
The discovery of cane toads by eldest son Neil in April 2023 realised our worse fears.
And we are sad to say, these fears appear well founded as our local population of charismatic northern quolls, or wijingarras, are all currently MIA.
The local ecology is completely out of whack as the quolls are the apex predator in the local land-based chain. Strong observations of our many snakes and other mammals have bought some comfort as these are also at risk of death from the toxic toads that have no place in the natural order of this country.
The incidences have been reported to all relevant authorities but our response locally is our only means available, hand to hand capture and removal of the invaders.
Stay tuned for more on this but in the meantime, we are asking all smart bright and mammal loving humans to get your thinking caps on and help us find some solution to wiping out this plague from our country.
Photo captions: Two of the first wave found tagged and bagged and provided to authorities.
Photo caption: 2022 Christmas card star ‘Sparkles’ is missing, presumed dead.