Surrounded by 98% national park and built on the picturesque shores of Moreton Island, the Tangalooma Marine Education and Conservation Centre provides an up-close and personal look into the wonderful world of Moreton Bay. A passionate and dedicated team of Eco Rangers provide a wide range of Eco Walks, Tours and Presentations for all ages and backgrounds. These tours are designed to interactively educate people about conservation and their surrounding eco systems. Through education, attitudes can be changed and people can become aware of their environments so they can start making a difference.
The Marine Education and Conservation Centre (TMECC) is unique from any other facility as the environment is right on the doorstep, with endangered animals frequently passing the shores. Dolphins, Dugongs, Whales, Turtles, Rays, Marine Birds and so much more can be seen daily with interpretative taks provided by the TMECC Eco Rangers.
TMECC aims to educate young children with an established program called Eco Marines. Eco Marines is a non-for-profit environmental program that assists and sponsors community engagement in advocacy and action to protect domestic and international waterways, rivers, oceans and wildlife.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Dolphin News, 29th July 2009
During the week, Shadow, Zephyr, Tinkerbell, Phoenix, Tangles, Storm and Silhouette all burst out from under the jetty as they were hunting and catching fish that was swimming around in the feed area.
Also, during the week, Silhouette and Shadow displayed an interesting behaviour called "herding fish". This is when Shadow will hide under the jetty and Silhouette will then herd fish from out the back of the feed area into the shallows. Shadow (with little Zephyr swimming beside her) will quickly dart out from the side of the jetty and both Sillhouette and Shadow will push the fish towards the beach. As the fish try to swim back into the water, there are some very hungry dolphins waiting to eat them up. This is one form of co-operative hunting between dolphins which is very common and this is also a great way for Zephyr to learn his hunting skills from his mother.
Silhouette herding fish into the shallows
Posted by Ben
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Whale Watch & Eco Cruise News - 25 July 2009
We're coming to the end of another brilliant week out on the crystal clear waters of Moreton Bay, and as usual the wildlife doesn't disappoint! The large dugong herd we came across last week remains easy to find, slowly cruising up and down the shallow banks, foraging for food amongst the lush seagreass meadows. On Thursday alone we observed 40-50 individuals, many of which included adorable mother and calf pairs! It's simply incredible to see these juvenile dugongs sticking right to their mothers' sides as they come to the surface to breathe.
Not to be outdone, the humpback whales migrating past our shores continue to impress, with some of the most sightings we've seen all season. With pods surfacing in every direction, it's no surprise we've observed some of these gentle giants up close and personal - not 5 metres away from the boat! We can't wait to see some of this year's calves make their first appearances.
Bird's eye view of our Dugong Explorer Vessel.
Posted by Ben
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Dolphin News, 23rd July
It seems we aren't the only ones enjoying the beautiful, calm conditions at Tangalooma this week - the dolphins have been taking advantage of the still waters as well, relaxing in the feed area at every opportunity! A behaviour we call logging, the dolphins will take quick catnaps by shutting down one half of their brain at a time, letting one half catch a few Zs while the other half takes care of breathing and looking out for predators.
Not all of the dolphins have been so happy to kick back though, with little Zephyr using the time to practice his own hunting skills! Finding a pufferfish in the crystal clear waters of the feed area, Shadow's cheeky little calf teases the little fish until it puffs right up, then turns it into his very own game of catch, tossing it into the air!
It's great to see the calves becoming more and more independent, and as Phoenix's first birthday rapidly approaches, we can't wait to see what the next couple of months bring.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Eco-Cruise News, 19th July
The weather over the last couple of days has been calm and sunny and the bay looks like a beautiful glassy pond! This had made for ideal conditions for heading out on the Eco Cruise and sighting some of the bays dugong, dolphin and turtle population.
Just yesterday a herd of around 50 dugongs were sighted down at the southern sand banks, happily plodding along grazing seagrass on the seafloor. The boat engines were turned off and the boat remained stationary in the clear calm waters, and to everyones delight the dugongs started getting closer and closer to the boat as they were foraging for their daily intake of up to 60kg of seagreass! Within a short amount of time the herd had surrounded the boat, some dugongs coming within metres of the vessel!
To top the week off, a friendly and curious pod of bottlenose dolphins were kind enough to take some time out of their busy schedule to show off their playful nature. Upon detecting the boat going by, they promptly stopped what they were doing to inject some fun in their day by surfing the waves created at the back of the boat as it cruised past.
Posted by Rob
Saturday, 18 July 2009
Whale Watch News, 18th July
What a wonderful week for whale watching! Guests were pleasantly surprised when a pod of 3 sub adult humpback whales decided to put on a show that would impress all on board. The playfull trio rolled, splashed, pectoral waved and tail slapped as they cruised beside the Tangalooma whale watching vessel, but no one was expecting what was going to happen next...
The three whales turned direction and swam directly under our boat, as they rose to the surface to breathe one whale rolled on to its side and started waving at the boat within metres of our bewildered eyes. The whale then dived below the water and within inches of the vessel rose its head up clear out of the water and gazed curiously as we watched on.
The three whales then put on a wonderful display of breaches before waving us good bye with inverted tail slaps and peduncle throws as the young whales rolled and wrestled with one another.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Dolphin News, 17th July
The latest addition to Tangalooma's family of wild bottlenose dolphins has been named Zephyr! We believe little Zephyr is a boy and he is already starting to assert his dominance, especially with Phoenix who is 2 months older than him.
This week the dolphins have all been very active and social with each other. As we had a lot of sea weed in the area, Storm, Phoenix, Zephyr and Echo were picking up pieces, throwing it to each other, and chasing each other around the feed area.
With the westerly winds blowing up this week, the dolphins had a great time surfing in the waves, but sadly the westlery winds bring in a lot of rubbish that floats in from Brisbane, so the dolphin care staff had to continually collect the rubbish whilst they were out in the water so it would not harm the dolphins.
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Dolphin News, 9th July
Our young subadult Storm was playfully tossing some seaweed around the feed area, only to have our older, more mature male Nari swim over and steal it from him! Nari then continued to chase Storm until the feed started. Even though this kind of behaviour can be quite shocking to us, it is an important way for dolphins to assert dominance over one another and strengthen the bonds within the group.
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Dolphin News, 8th July
Again large schools of mullet swam through the dolphin feed area. Shadow, Tangles, Nari, Tinkerbell and Echo were all in the feed area at the time, and were hunting and catching the mullet.
As we only every feed the dolphins a very small amount of their daily intake, we generally always see the dolphins hunting their own food before, during and after the feed.
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Dolphin News, 7th July
Schools of mullet swum through the feed area. Silhouette and Storm had a great time hunting and catching their own food during the feed.
Monday, 6 July 2009
Dolphin News, 6th July
Last night Bobo entered the feed area with an unknown dolphin. Generally, he always arrives and departs the feed area by himself. We believe that Bobo does not associate with any of the other dolphins that visit Tangalooma outside of the feeding programme. Bobo probably has his own male alliance (group) that he interacts with when he is not at the feed. The unknown dolphin that came into the feed with Bobo last night may be a dolphin from Bobo's group.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Whale Watch & Eco-Cruise News, 5th July
We've been keeping a steady track of the dugongs on the eco-cruises this week, observing a sizeable herd of 30-40 individuals down on Moreton Banks at the southern end of the island. We're fortunate enough to have extensive beds of seagrass growing amongst the shallow water here (comprising the main part of the dugong's diet), and the Banks are particularly abundant. We were even lucky enough to see two mothers with juvenile calves, cruising side by side.
Fantastic conditions for the Whale Watching this week afforded us several impressive sightings of the majestic Humpback Whales as well. Thursday afternoon saw our Whale Watching vessel, the Tangalooma Jet, encountering a big, beautiful female with her 1-2 year old calf. For the best part of an hour, the pair cruised alongside our boat, with the inquisitive and playful calf continuously breaching out of the water.
It's shaping up to be yet another fantastic Whale Watching season here at Tangalooma!
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Dolphin News, 5th July
Last night the dolphins showed off their impressive hunting prowess to an eager crowd, and Shadow's baby boy was leading the way! After catching a small queen fish, he started an enthusiastic game of cat and mouse - letting the fish go briefly to only catch again in a few moments time. It's great to see the young calves practicing their hunting technique; even though it often appears to be a simple game, it will be vitally important and crucial to their survival once they become more independent of their mothers.
Saturday, 4 July 2009
Special Bulletin - Sea Shepherd Visit Tangalooma!
On Saturday 4th July we were lucky enough to welcome two Sea Shepherd crew members to Tangalooma Island Resort.
The Crew members offered a presentation to Tangalooma guests, and spoke about Sea Shepherd campaigns such as; anti-whaling, illegal fishing, shark poaching, sealing and the marine habitat destruction. They also provdided an insight into the life onboard the Steve Irwin MY during anti-whaling seasons in the Antarctica.
The Sea Shepherd battles are numerous and the scope is worldwide.
Sea Shepherd have realised that many people around the world want action. They want results. More and more people want to see that endangered species are being protected, that threatened habitats are being defended.
Sea Shepherd believe that the Blue Fin tuna in the Mediterranean will become extinct within the next 3 years due to over fishing in the area.
We would like to thank the Sea Shepherd crew for taking the time to come over to the resort,k an insight to this information has touched quite a few hearts.
For more information, you can visit the Sea Shepherd website www.seashepherd.org
Friday, 3 July 2009
Dolphin News, 3rd July
Once again the south westerly winds transformed the feed area into a playground for the dolphin's last night. Shadow's baby boy (soon to have a name!) was enjoying surfing amongst the waves created by the wind, taking some lessons from his auntie, 19 year old Tinkerbell. Not to be outdone, Tangles also joined in the fun, playfully tossing a piece of drifting seaweed over her back.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Dolphin News, 2nd July
As we had South Westerly winds blowing up during the feed last night, the dolphins were very active and were having lots of fun surfing the waves into the shore.
Sadly though, when South Westerly winds are blowing, rubbish gets blown across Moreton Bay and last night lots of plastic bags and other rubbish was floating around the feed area. To the staff's horror, the dolphins started to play with the plastic bags etc, with one of the dolphins swimming around with a plastic bag on its dorsal fin, and even the calves were trying to eat it. Staff quickly entered the water and collected of all the rubbish.
You can help the dolphins and all marine creatures by always placing your rubbish in the bin and never throw your rubbish on the ground or into our rivers and oceans.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Dolphin News, 1st July
Silhouette was displaying a behaviour called spy hopping last night.
This is when the dolphin will stick its head out of the water to have a good look around. Dolphins have very good eyesight above and below the water, and they can do this by manipulating their eye lens.