Just in time for National Dolphin Day, a group of "dolphin researchers" will set out to the shores of Australia to count bottlenose dolphins. The 14th annual census at Port Stephens, Australia, involves over 100 volunteers standing in an assigned position to record the dolphins they see.
"Over the many years that we've been holding this survey we have a number of select locations," Andrew Bond, area manager for National Parks and Wildlife Service, told Australia's ABC News. "So the locations are all the same, they're all taken over the same 30 minute period. The observations start with the number of dolphins and some of the characteristics of the dolphins."
The census is meant to measure human impacts on wildlife off the southwestern coast of the country, a busy area for boats and recreation. Bond said these water activities can be harmful to dolphins. "And really one of the clear signs to see what those activities are impacting on the marine life can be shown by having a census such as we're doing."