After examining a taxonomically confused group of marine mammals, scientists have finally put a name to a new species: the Australian humpback dolphin. It is the fourth recognized humpback dolphin species.

This most recent addition is the culmination of a 17-year-long, systematic examination of cetaceans that range from the coast of West Africa the to the northern coast of Australia.

“The formal recognition and naming of a new species brings with it a need to formulate or update plans for protection of these dolphins,” said Dr. Howard C. Rosenbaum, Director of WCS’s Ocean Giants Program. “Humpback dolphins throughout their range are threatened with fisheries interactions, vessel impacts, and development in their coastal habitats. Efforts to protect humpback dolphins and other coastal dolphins, and their most important habitats are essential for the survival of these species.”

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