DIANELLA residents Eli and Isabella Rosenberg were the first to enter a competition to name Perth’s newest dolphin calf last week.
The eight-month-old bottlenose is regularly seen swimming in the Swan Canning Riverpark with protective mum Highnitch, who has been a long-term resident of the river.
Environment Minister Bill Marmion said the river’s dolphin population was recovering and it was encouraging to see calves being born.
“As well as the four resident mothers and their calves, 12 other adult and juvenile river dolphins are being regularly sighted and are considered residents,” Mr Marmion said.
He said the resident numbers were boosted at times by visits from coastal dolphins, including several other mother-and-calf pairs sighted on occasion in the river.
“Dolphins are one of the most loved animals in the river and I want the public to have a chance to get closer to them by submitting names for the newest calf,” he said.
“It has survived the first, most anxious, six months of life and remains strong and healthy with its mother. And we think it deserves a name to symbolise the new hope that all of us are feeling.”
A major research program began last July to learn more about the lives of river dolphins, with more than 300 volunteers reporting sightings and behavioural observations to the project, run by Murdoch and Curtin universities.
The winning name for the new calf will be selected by a panel of judges, after the competition closes on May 25.