Dolphin Research Australia

Dolphin Research Australia

About Us

Dolphin Research Australia is marine conservation charity conducting research on Byron Bay’s dolphins for over 15yrs.  Our a mission is to increase the understanding of the ecology of dolphins and whales, their needs for survival, and to improve conservation efforts for the protection of the these animals and their habitats. 

We provide school-age and adult education programs to engage, empower and promote environmentally positive action. Our flagship research investigates the abundance, trends, habitat use, social and communication systems of dolphins and whales to understand their wild ways. We also assist in stranding and incident response when dolphins and whales are in need. All of our education and research projects aim to advocate, activate and improve efforts for the protection and conservation of dolphins, whales and other marine species. 

Unlike their distant relatives the humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins do not migrate. Many live in communities and occupy specific coastal home ranges all year round. Within their home ranges, dolphins have areas that are important for feeding and others that are used for resting and socialising. As these dolphins are so localised and often have small ranges, this makes them very vulnerable to disturbance from human activities. As part of our research, we assess how human activities impact the lives of coastal dolphin communities and help to minimise these impacts to ensure the protection of these animals and their habitats.

Byron Bay’s Dolphins

Byron Bay provides an important habitat for many marine species including the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin. These dolphins are often seen surfing waves around the iconic Cape Byron Headland and along the beaches in the region.  It is estimated that within a given year up to 1000 dolphins can move in and out of the bay. While some dolphins come and go, others remain resident all year round.

Byron Bay is home to a resident community of bottlenose dolphins of up to 100 individuals. This community can often be seen from the Cape Byron Headland moving between Tallows Beach and Wategos Beach. This area is equivalent to their ‘bedroom’ and is where they rest, feed, and teach and care for their young.  

Contrary to popular belief, dolphin life is not all fun and games.  Every day dolphins have to carefully balance their energy budget to ensure they complete all essential tasks for their survival. In an ever-changing world, dolphins are faced with a cocktail of threats from human activities. It is up to each one of us to protect the dolphins and their habitats. 

Remember to care for our dolphins during your stay in Byron Bay. If you encounter dolphins, respect their space and follow the NSW dolphin watching regulations. Please do not approach closer than 50m (and 150m if there are calves).  Do not attempt to touch, feed or pursue the dolphins as it causes high levels of stress, and be sure to leave no litter behind.  

Support Us

As an independent grass-roots charity, we rely on the support from the public to keep our conservation programs going. 

You can be a Dolphin Hero’s and Help Protect Our Dolphins by making a tax deductible donation today! 

For further information to about our programs, the Byron Bay dolphins and how to support us head to our website or send us an email.




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