Monday, November 12, 2012
Last Call for Hector's and Maui's dolphins
Hector's dolphins are the smallest and rarest of the world's dolphin populations and the only species native to New Zealand waters. Since the 70's, the population has dropped from 30,000 to only 7,000 due to gillnets and trawl nets.
Maui dolphins, a subspecies of Hector dolphins, are in even more trouble. Their population has dropped from 1,000 40 years ago to only a mere 55 today. Only around 20 of the remaining are breeding females. It is reported that around 5 of these dolphins die in fishing nets every year. Females don't breed until they are 7-9 years old and only have 1 calf every 2-4 years.
The world's largest conservation assembly, the IUCN World Conservation Congress, urged the New Zealand government to expand the protection of these dolphins from gillnetting and trawling across their waters up to 100m. Without this ban, the Hector's and Maui's dolphins will surely become extinct.
To read more, go to hectorsdolphins.com