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Maui Dolphin Death the Mandate for Change

Maui Dolphin Death the Mandate for Change

With another death of a critically endangered Māui dolphin on a west coast North Island beach, global animal welfare organisation World Animal Protection is shining an international spotlight on the critical status of the species, and the need for definitive action from the New Zealand Government.

Chrstine Rose, Campaigns Advisor says:

“This latest death is the ultimate wake-up call to the New Zealand Government to protect these dolphins once and for all.

This has to be the most critical incentive for the New Zealand Government to ‘pull out all stops’ to protect these dolphins throughout their range, from the full suite of human caused threats

The upcoming Māui and Hector’s dolphin Threat Management Plan is the opportunity to get protection right. It’s time for action, not talk. So far the Government has delayed marine protection measures, but the consequence is an extinction event happening on their watch.

World Animal Protection reminds the New Zealand Government, that the whole world is watching this current inaction too. And that there’s not a moment to spare in the preservation of this species and its habitat.

While the cause of death of this dolphin is yet to be determined, it’s obvious this sub-species, and their Hector’s dolphins cousins in the South Island are being pushed to extinction by human threats, meaning they are at unsustainable risk from a whole range of background, natural pressures too.

‘Some risks we can’t control, but those we have some power over, must be addressed.It’s incumbent on this Government to step up and use the spate of Māui and Hector’s dolphin deaths, about 20 known this year, including four Māui, as the strongest mandate possible to take action once and for all to reduce human induced harm.

These endearing, much loved dolphins survived in New Zealand’s coastal waters for millenia, but regardless of the cause of death in this instance, which may never be known, we’re facing a conservation crisis now. Human caused deaths mean the population is as low as around 57 adults, and has no resilience or capacity to withstand anthropgenic harm.

If the Government fails to respond strongly and with full protection this time, they have failed the species, and failed the world’s biological diversity. World Animal Protection’s supporters around the globe, will be judging New Zealand, and our Government accordingly.”

Ends.

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