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Dolphins with rounded fins? Report them in!

Dolphins with rounded fins? Report them in!

It’s easy to report dolphin sightings on the free smart phone app called ‘Hector’s Dolphin Sightings’, free from Google Play and the App Store.

Photos can be uploaded instantly with the app; photos greatly assist in species and individual identification.

Hector’s dolphins are endangered and Māui dolphins are critically endangered. They are the smallest dolphins in the world and are unique to New Zealand coasts. Little is known about their local movements in the top of the South, where there is a big focus on getting more sightings.

So far this summer, sighting reports have been received from all coastal regions around the South island.

A very rare and important sighting report of a Hector’s dolphin came through in early December from Napier!

Gemma McGrath, who manages the app, says, “Usually Hector’s dolphins are very local, not traveling far from home. They have an average alongshore range of just 50 km. But there’s certainly some adventurers. There are at least two Hector’s dolphins living with the Māui dolphin population now.”

“You just never know where and when one of these delightful little dolphins could pop up. Every sighting is important,” says McGrath. Remember to always approach dolphins, slowly, and from behind. Gentleness is key and results in much richer experiences.

The app is free, quick and easy to use, and sightings of other whales and dolphins are reported on it too. Data is shared with app users, scientists and the Department of Conservation.

(Photo: Will Rayment)


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