Rangers have prevented a mass stranding of dolphins near Albany by using a dolphin calf to lure up to 150 of the animals out to sea.
The large pod of pantropical spotted dolphins was found in shallow water at Whalers Cove at the Two Peoples Bay nature reserve, south-east of Albany, early yesterday.
One of the dolphins died during the stranding yesterday morning, but a rescue team managed to save the remainder of the pod overnight.
A DEC spokesman said officers last night used a boat to lead a dolphin calf out to sea. The calf lured the rest of the pod, which was 150m offshore, a further two kilometres out to sea.
The spokesman said there was no sign of the dolphins this morning but a spotter plane would be sent up this morning to monitor the area.
The Department of Environment established an incident management team yesterday at the site and five wildlife officers travelled from Perth to assist in the rescue.
Regional leader nature conservation Deon Utber said it was unusual for a large pod of dolphins to strand in this region.