Maui's dolphin is the world's smallest dolphin and is found only on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is a subspecies of the Hector's dolphin. They are about the size of a child they are so small. Females are the larger of the two and can weigh up to 110lbs. (50 kg). The dolphins have been known to live up to 20 years if left alone.

They are easily recognized having distinctive grey, white and black markings and a short snout. But their most recognizable feature is their round dorsal fin. Maui’s and Hector's are the only dolphins in the world with a well-rounded black dorsal fin. Maui's dolphins will be generally found close to shore in groups or pods of several dolphins. In the summer they can be seen in water less than 20 meters (22 yards) deep but in the winter they may also range further offshore. Maui's spend most of their time feeding. They have also been observed playing, chasing other dolphins, blowing bubbles, and play fighting. As with other dolphins they enjoy having fun with each other.

The sad fact is that these cute little dolphins have become highly endangered. Currently there are only around 100 of them left in New Zealand and they are found no where else in the world. They have been classified internationally as critically endangered. They are at a high risk of it becoming extinct in the near future. The main threat to them is the fishing industry as they tend to get caught in the fishing and trolling nets and drown. Conservation groups are currently working with fisherman in New Zealand and have set off limit boundaries where the Maui's dolphins tend to inhabit. The difficult part is having the manpower to enforce these boundaries.

Maui's dolphins use echolocation to find their food as do all dolphins. This involves sending out high frequency 'clicks' that bounce off surrounding objects and fish and give the dolphins a detailed picture of their surroundings. However the dolphin's sonar is not used all the time and this could explain why the dolphins get caught in nets. Also dolphin females are not sexually mature until they are seven to nine years of age. They produce just one calf every two to four years which makes it a very slow process to increase their population.

Please watch the video below and then take a moment to sign the petition to save this precious species of dolphin.

Responses to "Maui's dolphins - world's smallest dolphin and critically endangered"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Please Save The Maui's Dolphin! They Deserve to live On Earth Like We Do!

    -Anonymous Person

  2. Anonymous says:

    please protects they.....

  3. Thank you so much for drawing attention to this issue and NABU International's work to protect them. We would also love to welcome you on our Maui's and Hector's dolphin facebook page Hector's and Maui's Dolphin SOS: This extiction is not inevitable. Thank you for your support for the world's smalles and rarest dolphin!

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