07 Aug '12, 9pm

Maui's dolphins still in danger of extinction despite New Zealand's protective measures

Maui's dolphins still in danger of extinction despite New Zealand's protective measures

By: Caillie Mutterback August 07, 2012 Hector's dolphin, the parent species of the Maui's dolphin. Photo by: James Shook. The New Zealand government's recent efforts to protect the world’s smallest dolphin have come under scrutiny from various conservation organizations at the 64th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). There are only 55 Maui dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui ) now found on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, less than half the 2005 population with numbers continuing to decline. Less than 20 of the remaining Maui’s are breeding females and their slow reproductive rates make it difficult to increase their numbers when faced with an even bigger danger: fishing nets. Weighing up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms) with a length of 1.7 meters, Maui's dolphins are the smallest in the world. Their size is not the only thing that makes the...

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0807-mutterback-mauis-dolph...

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