New Zealand urged to take immediate action to protect the remaining Maui’s dolphins
New research presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which is currently meeting in San Diego, USA, strongly urges the New Zealand to take more immediate action to halt the decline in the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin.
Maui’s dolphins are only found around the shallow coastal waters of New Zeland’s North Island where their predominant threat is bycatch or entanglement in set gill-nets, a static fishing gear used widely within habitat critical to this tiny population of dolphins. Maui’s dolphins have never been as abundant as their cousins the Hector’s dolphin, from the South Island however their numbers are declining rapidly and experts predict that unless further measures are taken to protect them, the Maui’s dolphin will be extinct within the next 15 years – if not sooner. With only 43 – 47 individuals left, and only 10 of these mature females able to reproduce and add to the gene pool, the clock is ticking very loudly.