Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ella Bay's Humpback dolphins enchant local media

I have been interviewed in some fairly interesting places at times. In the middle of nowhere next to an armoured personnel carrier, next to a burnt out building on a sidewalk but inside Supercheap Auto, Innisfail whilst seated on a 10 litre oil can was a whole new experience. I’m sure some people wondered who that crazy guy was, waving one hand round in the air whilst talking into his mobile phone at a million miles an hour about these fascinating creatures!

Then again I have an excuse as I was talking to intelligent and highly regarded Cairns Post journalist Ms Julie Lightfoot. Recently I have been very impressed at her stories about Cowley Beach and Liz Gallie’s amazing Quoll find at Mission Beach. Her stories have often made the purchase of this local newspaper feel like good value!

Alright then it was off to the bay for a photograph (despite my protests) and back to town to finish my shopping!

Thank you Julie for your time and interest and to everyone else here’s the story - check it out!

Cheers Russ

Rare dolphins may stop Ella Bay developer
Julie Lightfoot, The Cairns Post 17 Jul 09
PHOTOS and video footage of a rare species of dolphin could be a thorn in the side of developers proposing a $1.4 billion resort and residential hub for Ella Bay.

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins have been photographed playing in the ocean within 50m of the shoreline at Ella Bay, near Innisfail, and a conservationist has appealed to Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to step in.

Bramston Beach’s Russell Constable has enjoyed watching the dolphins splashing and leaping out of the ocean at Ella Bay five times in the past month.

"It’s been awesome to see them – you can tell they’re not your usual bottle-nosed dolphins because they have a broad triangular fin and a much larger snout," Mr Constable said.

His sightings have been confirmed by dolphin experts.

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are listed as rare under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act.

They are known to be in northern Australian waters, to live in shallow near-shore areas often near river mouths and to be susceptible to impacts from coastal development and agriculture.

Mr Constable, who also campaigned against the Ella Bay development proposal after discovering endangered marine turtles nesting on the beach, said marine migratory species had not been considered in Ella Bay’s environmental impact assessment.

Ella Bay chief executive officer Rod Lamb has not commented on the sightings.

Developers want to build four five-star resorts, an 18-hole golf course, 540 houses, a village precinct and an international school on land above the beach which is bordered by World Heritage rainforest.

The final proposal documents are expected to be with the Federal Government by the end of this month.
More photos of dolphins near Cairns on the Cairns Post website.


  1. What an excellent article and photo! Let's hope and pray that this alters the course of this dreaded development.

  2. Thanks pearls Julie did a great job as did our magnificent aquatic neighbours!


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