Māui and Hector's dolphins

Hector's dolphin underwater rel=
Hector's dolphin. The numbers of Hector's dolphins have plummeted in the last four decades from 30,000 in the 1970s to an estimated 7,270 today.
© hedgehoghouse.com

Hector’s and Māui dolphins are New Zealand’s national treasures

These beautiful, tiny marine mammals only live in New Zealand’s coastal waters – nowhere else in the world.

The dolphins are among the world’s smallest cetaceans, easily recognised by their distinctive dorsal fin shaped like a Mickey Mouse ear.

Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) are found only around New Zealand’s South Island. A subspecies, the Māui dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui), lives in shallow coastal waters along the North Island’s western shores.

© Martin Abel
One of an estimated 110 to 150 Hector's dolphins that die in commercial set nets every year
© Martin Abel

Stop their extinction

Learn more about how we work with communities, politicians and the fishing industry to save Māui dolphins.