Submit a report | WWF New Zealand

Submit a report

A rare Maui's dolphin swimming underwater
© Richard Robinson

Think you spotted a Māui dolphin?

Let us know! The more specific information you can provide the better, so take a photo or film and record GPS coordinates if you can. Try to observe the dolphin carefully and make written notes about:
  • where you saw it (for example, describe landmarks)
  • what time it was
  • what it looked like
  • whether there were other dolphins with it and how many
  • what it was doing

Then fill out the form below to let us know. 

Public sightings through the WWF sightings phone line and free App are independently validated by the Cawthron Institute and are an important source of information about where
Māui dolphins are ranging.

More information about where they range helps us know how they can best be protected, and to advocate for more and better protection. 


Call the hotline on 0800 4 MAUIS

or, download our free 
Māui dolphin sightings app for your smartphone below:


What to look for

Māui dolphins are very easy to identify. Their most distinctive features are their:
- rounded dorsal fin, which looks like Mickey Mouse's ear, unlike the sickle-shaped fins of other dolphins
- gently sloping snout, unlike the "bottlenose" snout of common dolphins
- size. They are shorter than adult humans. Adult Māui are normally 1.2 - 1.4 metres long and weigh about 50 kg

Look for distinctive black markings: a black face, flippers, dorsal fin and tail and a crescent-shaped black mark that runs between the top of each eye, up over the blowhole.

If you see a stranded or dead Māui dolphin, please report it right away to the Department of Conservation - on 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).

To report illegal set nets or other fisheries infringements, call the Ministry of Fisheries on 0800 4 POACHER (0800 4 76224).

Submit a Sightings Report

A brief description of the dolphin you saw (e.g. fin shape, size, colour): *

Date and Time: *

Whereabouts of the dolphin you saw. Please be as specific as possible: *

GPS co-ordinates (if available):

Depth of water where dolphin was seen:

Distance of dolphin from shore:

Total number of Maui's Dolphins seen: *

Number of juveniles in group (they are less than 1/2 the size of an adult):

Where did you see the dolphins from?
Land Air Boat Swimming
Surfing Other

Were you able to take photos of the Maui's Dolphin?
Yes No

What behaviour were the dolphins displaying when you saw them e.g. feeding, traveling, leaping, surfing: *

Would you like to make any further comments about your sighting?:

Upload photo/film clips (jpg, gif, jpeg, tif, bmp, mov, avi, wmv, mpeg, mp4, 3gp) (Maximum file size 5MB):

Your Name: *

Your Address *(why?):

Phone number:

Email: *

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Would you like to receive information from WWF about other ways that you can support New Zealand species?
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Thank you for supporting this research.

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