Rangers from the Queensland Parks And Wildlife Service have spotted a Australian snubfin dolphin off the coast of Hinchbrook Island.
Emma Schmidt, who photographed the rare sight, told the Townsville Bulletin, “They are very rare, so this photo was just pure luck.”
“We were heading to Sunken Reef Bay and I noticed a pod of about 10 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and among them was this cute little snubby”
“It was playing and mucking around, jumping out of the water and in the photo it looks like its smiling.”
Image credit: Queensland National Parks
The Australian snubfin dolphin, scientific name Orcaella heinsohni, was only recognised as a new species in 2005.
It can be recognised by its rounded head and distinct colouring – a dark cape, white abdomen and grey sides.
It has been spotted across northern Australia, from Western Australia to Queensland.
Australian snubfin dolphin is listed as vulnerable. Threats to the dolphin include boats, poor water quality, fishing nets and habitat loss.