Boaties enjoying the ocean off the Waikato’s west coast are being urged to report sightings of the Māui dolphin, as a survey to determine the population of the rare mammals continues.
The Māui dolphins are among the world’s rarest, and their habitat is limited to the waters of the Tasman Sea off the west coast of the North Island. The area near shore between Auckland and Taranaki – particularly from the Manukau Harbour to Port Waikato – is where they are most frequently seen.
The Māui dolphin abundance survey work comes during Seaweek, which urges New Zealanders to enjoy responsible recreation in the marine environment, be safe and aware on and near the sea, and to respect the ocean.
The Hector’s Dolphin Sighting app is specially designed for the public to report sightings of both Hectors and Māui dolphins in real time. App users can upload photographs of the dolphins they see to help with identification.