Category Archives: Blog

Dusky Dolphins – Rare visitors to Tasmania

Swimming with Dusky Dolphins in Tasmania
Rare visitors to Tasmanian waters – Dusky Dolphins

Welcomed to the season by dusky dolphins

What a great start into the season it has been this week! On our second day of operation we came across a pod of about 100 Dusky Dolphins off Waterfall Bluff. These beautiful animals are known for their acrobatics and they have certainly put on a show for us!

Dusky Dolphins are a curious species. We experienced a very inquisitive behaviour. Once the dolphins became aware of our boat, it was obvious that they enjoyed our company and loved to hang around for a play.

Watch this video for some impressions of the Dusky Dolphins underwater:



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Habitat of Dusky Dolphins

Dusky Dolphins are found throughout the Southern Hemisphere preferring cold, coastal waters. The best known locations include New Zealand, south-western Africa and also South America and southern Australia. Within Australian waters, dusky dolphins have been recorded in colder waters off Kangaroo Island, eastern Tasmania, and Bass Strait. However, the numbers of confirmed sightings in Australia seem to be low.

Description

Dusky dolphins are beautiful looking creatures with an amazing pattern. They are blue-black in color on their upper sides and have a dark band running diagonally across their flanks from their dorsal fins to their tails. They also have 2 white streaks that run diagonally from their tails to the base of their dorsal fins. Their under sides are light grey to white in color. These dolphins are relatively small, growing up to 2 meters in length. A very distinctive feature is the evenly sloping head from the blowhole to the tip of the snout, which lacks a beak.

Report sightings

If you have sighted unusual marine mammals or any species of whales in Tasmanian waters, please report the sighting to the whale hotline of the Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania  (0427-WHALES) or to us at Wild Ocean Tasmania (0473-770416) to assist in marine research.

 

 

Why is there so much roadkill in Tasmania?

Tasmanian wildlife need our support!

It is estimated that 293,000 animals loose their lives on the road each year in Tasmania. That equals 32 killed animals per hour on average for the year! According to Roadkill Tas, most wildlife is hit by vehicles between dusk and dawn. 50% of these animals had to loose their lives due to us humans driving faster than 80 km/h.

Imagine being a nocturnal animal. You are grazing on the lush grass on the side of the road, everything is quiet around you when all of a sudden you can hear a tremendous noise. You get dazzled by a bright light. A car is racing towards you. You can’t see, don’t know where to go. There is only a 50/50 chance to escape into the right direction.

The lucky ones find their way back into the bush, their safe place. But lots of animals don’t have a chance to escape.

What can I do if I accidentally hit an animal?

Although driving slowly and looking out for wildlife is the best way to avoid accidents, sometimes it just happens. If you do hit an animal there are a few things that you could do:

Stop only if it is safe to do so. Approach the animal slowly. If the animal is dead, pull it off the street to minimise the risk of predators getting run over by cars as well. Best is to use gloves, an old shirt or jacket when you examine the animal. Check the pouch, if it is a female. Often the young survive the crash and could possibly be saved. If the hit animal is still alive, it can also be treated and it might survive. Native animals get stressed easily and even die from stress. You can calm the animal down by keeping it in a warm, dark and quiet place, like a box or a towel, and keep handling to a minimum. Don’t try to feed the injured animal or joey anything. Call assistance immediately to increase the chance of recovery.

Wallaby joey in our care.
This is Marvin, a wallaby joey that is currently in our care.

Who can I contact for help with orphaned or injured wildlife?

There are several organisations that will be able to help you and give you advice if you come across orphaned or injured wildlife.

Bonorong Wildlife Sancturay

The Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary operates a 24-hour wildlife rescue service and organises a pool of  dedicated volunteers, wildlife carers and vets. Most likely they will be able to find a local wildlife rescuer in their database who can assist you with the rescue.

Call: 0447 264 625 (0447 ANIMAL)

DPIPWE

The Wildlife Management Branch of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE) offers a hotline for Wildlife Incidents as well.

Phone: 1300 827 727

Thanks to everyone who has helped animals in need!

Your support is very much appreciated. All the injured and orphaned animals have their own little personalities which you get to know once you’ve spent a bit of time with them. The wallabies that we took on quickly became a part of the family and it’s amazing to watch them develop their own characters. Some of our ex-orphans have already shown us their offspring. So every single animal that got help will possibly contribute to secure the population of their species.

Click here to find more information about our conservation efforts.

Wild Island Photography Workshop

Tasman Peninsula Wildlife, Landscape & Night Sky Photography Workshop

From 4th to 6th November 2016, Rob Blakers from Wild Island Tasmania will be conducting a special photography workshop on Tasman Peninsula with wildlife photographer Matthew Jones and Tasmanian landscape specialists Loic Le Guilly.

Wild Island Workshop Banner

The workshop is now open for bookings and includes:

  • Practical tuition in wildlife photography with Matthew Jones
  • Early morning boat tour with Wild Ocean Tasmania
  • Night-time wildlife photography
  • Instruction tutorials on field techniques and image processing for wildlife and landscape photography
  • Sunrise and sunset photography at little known sites around Tasman National Park
  • Night sky photography
  • Small group discussions and relaxed information-sharing
  • Transfers, meals, accommodation and National Parks Pass

For more information about the Wild Island Photography Workshop on Tasman Peninsula please click here.

Exploring Tasmania on land or by boat

Remarkable natural features to explore on a boat tour or by foot

With 660 km2, Tasman Peninsula is a great holiday destination for lovers of nature, history and adventure. It is home to the World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site,  the best preserved convict site in Australia, as well as the Tasman National Park, an area of natural diversity and amazing coastal scenery.

Tasman Peninsula Boat Cruise
Cruise along the rugged coastline of the Tasman Peninsula and see caves, arches and amazing rock formations that can’t be seen from land.

Here you can fully take your mind off things on one of numerous bush walks ranging from only one hour to multiple days. You will be rewarded by a variety of native plants, diverse wildlife and stunning views from the top of high sea cliffs.

Some features of the Tasman National Park can only be seen by boat. There are the most colourful caves, funky sea stacks and arches to explore. Marvel at a 130m high waterfall that rushes down the ancient cliffs. See the transition of rock types and literally drift through millions of years of evolution.

Waterfall into the ocean.

The Tasman Sea is home to an abundance of marine animals, too. So make sure you have your camera charged and are ready to capture the local residents including seals, dolphins and albatrosses or even whales on their yearly migration.

Find out more about our Coastal Adventure trips here.

The Hippolyte Rock off Pirates Bay on Tasman Peninsula.
The beautiful Hippolyte Rock in golden sunlight, a landmark East off Eaglehawk Neck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another wallaby ready to be released

Banjo raised and successfully released

Banjo, one of our Bennett’s wallaby joeys, was brought to us by a lovely family that took her on after  been orphaned, but didn’t have enough space or the facilities to look after her.)

Raised and released wallaby joey.
Another wildlife orphan is ready to be released.
Bennett’s wallabies need milk for about 14 months before they can get weaned. Milk rations have to be reduced  slowly. To prepare the animal for it’s life in the bush, it has to be kept in a large ‘pre-release or ‘soft-release’ enclosure to minimalize stress.
It is always hard to say ‘Goodbye’ to our wildlife orphans, when they are ready to go, but it’s so rewarding as well! We released our little Banjo 3 days ago and she came back yesterday morning to show us that she’s doing well out there. 🙂
We wish you all the best Banjo and watch out for those noisy cars!!
Find out more about our conservation efforts here.

What is the weather like in Tasmania?

Tasmania’s weather conditions

In Tasmania, we have the saying: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes!” Yes, we can have 4 seasons in 1 day! So it’s always a good idea to be prepared and bring your sunnies as well as a warm jacket. 😉

Actually, this summer has been very warm and dry. Nice for all the tourists that came to visit our beautiful island state, but it can get quite difficult for the rural population in Tasmania as well as for animals that depend on rain water.

This week, we got the first wooly weather pattern of the year with strong winds all around Tassie. The sky opened up for us on Monday morning though to sneak in a trip to the seals with some hardcore sailors on board. 🙂 It turned out to be a beautiful morning with lots of seals in the water. We even got treated with a little feeding-frenzy  of gannets, dolphins and seals on our way back up the coast.

Pointing at dolphins next to the boat.
Dolphin watching in Tassie.
Dolphin-watching beside the boat.
Southern Tasmania’s temperate waters are home to a variety of whales and dolphins.

 

Follow this link for more details about our seal swimming tour!

The whales are coming back to Tasmania

Orcas and Southern Right whales have been sighted in Tasmania last week.

I can hardly describe how excited we have been, when we sighted the pod of orcas off Waterfall Bay last week. We’ve noticed  a lot of feeding activities the weeks before with Australian Fur Seals and Common Dolphins rounding up schools of fish. Our highlight so far was to see some Southern Bluefin Tuna appear out of the blue and swoosh past on their hunting mission. These fish can swim as fast as 70km/hour.

Two orcas sighted off Waterfall Bay in Tasmania
Two orcas sighted off Waterfall Bay in Tasmania

On this particular day, all the fishing boats have already left the area and it was thought that the fish were gone. 15 minutes before sunset a cluster of albatrosses caught our eye, followed by 2 distinct blows. We went to investigate and spotted the pod of orcas. One of these amazing hunters managed to catch a tuna and brought it up to the surface.

Orcas are extremely intelligent creatures. They hunt in groups and use a technique called ‘endurance-exhaustion method’ to catch fast swimming fish like tuna. Here in Tasmania, we are very blessed that we get to see these beautiful animals  wild and free. The identification process is still in progress. We don’t have the final confirmation yet, but it might be a new pod.

Photographing orcas in Tasmania
Helping with the identification of Killer Whales in Tasmania.

 

To top off the excitement of our orca encounter, we got told that Southern Right Whales have already been sighted off Tasman Peninsula. It seems like the whale migration season has started early this year. Looking forward to more whale sightings soon and to share our photos on the net.

Love the oceans! xx


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Best whale-watching season in Tasmania

Amazing whale-watching in 2015/16

whale calf breaching
A breach of a baby whale

This season has been the best for whale watching in Tasmania. We’ve been blessed this year and got to share with our guests a lot of amazing encounters with Humpback Whales, Southern Right Whales, Dwarf Minke Whales, Blue Whales and Orcas.

Humpback whales tail
A Humpback Whale’s tail

During the Humpback Whale migration, these beautiful animals were putting on a show for us: numerous acrobatic breaches, mothers with calves feeding together and a few very lucky customers even got to see these graceful creatures underwater on our seal swimming trips.

Whales coming close to our vessel
Whales and dolphins swimming past our boat.

Tasmania is one of the few places on Earth with untouched wilderness, unique plants and diverse wildlife. Lets protect this amazing place and look after it for future generations!


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Young Love

Two new wallaby orphans moved into our place to be raised & released

Bennett's wallaby orphan
Our new wildlife orphan Wally.

Only about a week ago, we got a new family member. This cute little guy waving at the camera is Wally, a young Bennett’s wallaby joey.

He hasn’t had to be on his own for too long. Look who moved in with him…

2 wallaby joeys
Rescued wallaby babies Rosie and Wally

Little Rose was a bit stressed and dehydrated but Wally’s company helped her recover. 🙂

Thanks to everybody who has joined or is going to come on our tour! You help us give a bit back and save the lives of orphaned wildlife. All guests of our Seal & Ocean Expedition are invited to come and meet our joeys after the tour (if the animal’s health permits).


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Whale migration

The whale season has started. Southern Right and Humpback Whales (both listed as endangered under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995) are traveling northwards to warmer breeding areas and can now be sighted on our coast. Keep an eye out and report sighting to the Nature Conservation Branch 0427-942537.

Humpback Whale breaching in Tasman Sea
When breaching, Humpback Whales sometimes propel themselves nearly fully out of the water.