Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Hope for critically endangered Maui’s dolphin

New research provides increased hope for critically endangered Maui’s dolphin

North Island Maui’s dolphins and South Island Hector’s dolphins were once thought to occupy completely separate stretches of New Zealand’s coastline, but new research has shown that two female Hector’s dolphins have been visiting their North Island relatives.

Researchers hope that the two closely related dolphin sub-species may breed, bringing much-needed genetic diversity to the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin population.

“We know that Maui’s dolphins have a limited pool of genetic diversity, so any new input is very welcome,” says Phil Brown, the Department of Conservation’s Maui’s Dolphin Recovery Group leader.

“Maui’s dolphins remain classified as a unique sub-species and this recent finding will not change how we manage the small, fragmented population of less than 150 individuals,” he says.

“Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins have been genetically separate for more than 15,000 years, and even if occasional breeding with Hector’s occurs, it won’t change the makeup of the entire population.”

The two dolphins were identified during the first stage of a Maui’s dolphin population estimate study carried out by the Department of Conservation, the University of Auckland and Oregon State University in February this year. The study is using DNA profiling to identify individual dolphins.

“At first we didn’t know whether they were Maui’s dolphins that had retained some Hector’s genes, or whether they were visiting Hector’s straying outside their usual range,” says Mr Brown.

Thanks to genetic analysis that has just been completed by scientists from both universities, it is now possible to confirm that the two dolphins were in fact Hector’s dolphins.

Auckland University’s Dr. Rochelle Constantine presented the findings today at the New Zealand Ecological Society conference in Dunedin.

Future surveys would be necessary to determine if the two female dolphins survived, and if they are able to breed successfully with Maui’s dolphins.

To understand more about marine mammals in our waters we need more information about them. Mr Brown urges anyone who sees a Maui’s dolphin to report the sighting by calling the DOC HOTline (0800 362 468).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news