By Chris WrennThe most fascinating, intriguing and entertaining footage we’ve seen on Shark Week is this stunning short film from the University of South Australia’s Marine Biological Station.
The film follows two diving biologists who are part of a research expedition to the North East of Australia to try to keep up with the local population of Butterflies.
The film is a fascinating look at the lives of Butterfly divers, a species that have been found to live around 40km from the water in shallow, shallow-water environments.
“It’s hard to get people to watch anything that isn’t something really important,” said one of the researchers, Professor Michael Beal.
“But it’s just so much fun and you’re going to have a blast.”
The team has been following Butterflies for years, and while they haven’t always been the most successful divers, they have made significant progress.
The researchers found that the Butterfly population has expanded in the region since they first began monitoring them in 2012.
“The fact that they’re out in shallow waters is probably a good indicator of where the population is,” Professor Beal said.
“I’ve seen some really dramatic changes in the past year or so, so it’s a pretty good indication of where they are.”
The film has been viewed over a million times on YouTube and has also been viewed by some of Australia’s biggest news networks.
The scientists involved in the project are a team from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and are part-funded by the Australian Government.
“There’s been a pretty rapid increase in the Butterfoot population,” Professor Wrenns said.
“We’ve got the first data on the Butterfeet in the Northern Territory and we’ve also seen the first Butterfoot chicks in the Western Cape.”
Professor Beal is currently tracking a number of different populations in the area, including the populations of the Red-backed Butterfoot and the Australian Bicolous Butterfoot.
“This year we’re going down to a very large area of Queensland and the Butterfishes, so we’re tracking the Butterflies in all these areas,” he said.
The team is now trying to keep the Buttertail populations up to date by capturing footage of Butterflakes from the dive sites and using it as a guide to the Buttertails population.
Topics:diving,wildlife,animal-science,dolphins,biochemistry,survey,science-and-technology,perth-6000,sutherland-6718,southern-australiaMore stories from South Australia