Let's buy a drone to help save Māui dolphins | WWF New Zealand



Today, one of our most threatened native animals, the Māui dolphin, needs us to do something amazing: pull together, raise an incredible amount of money, and purchase one of the most innovative, cutting-edge pieces of technology available - an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

This drone will provide data and information to help save the 63 remaining Māui dolphins.

Can you join #teamMaui and help make this possible by donating today? Your donation will go directly towards MAUI63's cutting edge work with drone technology.

$125,389 Of $350,000 raised



Help buy a drone



For years, we've been working hard to find solutions that will help our Māui dolphins.

At WWF, we know New Zealanders are passionate about protecting these dolphins, and that most of us will do whatever it takes to ensure they not just survive but thrive.

But we need more data about where Māui dolphins swim to protect them.

Help buy a drone



Internationally-renowned marine mammal researcher Associate Professor Rochelle Constantine wanted to find a way to use new technology to provide the data we need.

She wondered if drones could find, identify and track Māui dolphins without bothering them. She started working on the idea of drones relaying back data and information about the dolphins that could be shared with anyone committed to the goal of saving them: scientists, iwi, hapu, and even fishing companies.

A team of tech-savvy researchers joined together with the aim of providing open access information about our ocean. They called themselves MAUI63, borrowed a drone and started testing. Early test results are showing exceptional promise.

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The artificial intelligence / object detection model in action


We were excited when we learned about the MAUI63 project. We had seen similar work being done in other WWF offices from Arkansas to Antarctica to Canada. In Option 5, our collaborative response to the government's proposed new Threat Management Plan, we suggested drones might play a role.

So when we heard that MAUI63 had not just found a solution, but tested it with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and proved it could identify and track the dolphins using an artificial intelligence model, we just knew this was a project we had to support.

We asked MAUI63 what they needed, and they said to have a UAV flying by February 2020 they would need $350,000 by the end of 2019.

With that, Mission Possible was born.

Help buy a drone


We know that New Zealanders can pull together to do almost anything we think is important: give women the vote, buy a beach, say no to racism.

Now, our Māui dolphins need us to work together to raise $350,000 to buy the UAV and other key tools the MAUI63 team will use to help find, track and provide information to protect Māui dolphins, so they don't become extinct forever.

This is going to be a mission, yes - but by working together, we know it's possible.


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Mapping Māui dolphin movements using drone data

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Scientists estimate only 63 Māui dolphins over one year old remain, but it's not too late to save them.

But we must act now. Even one non-natural death could be the final nail in the coffin for this most precious, iconic sub-species.

Will you join #teamMaui now by chipping in to help MAUI63 with this crucial work? Even $10 could help make this vision possible, and help save these precious dolphins. 

By donating and joining us in #teamMaui, you could help to get a dolphin-tracking drone in the air, and you will ensure that you get the latest updates on how this fundraising is going and about our work together with MAUI63.

Help buy a drone


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Tēnā tātou e kaingakau ana ki tēnei mahi
E kautahi ana tātou kia ora tonu atu ai
te aihe ā Māui



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