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

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election