This report describes the findings of population monitoring surveys carried out between 2009 and 2012 on the Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound bottlenose dolphins in Fiordland.


Two populations of bottlenose dolphins in Fiordland, New Zealand, have been the focus of this study.

The population in Doubtful Sound has previously been shown to be in decline. The other population, those dolphins within Dusky Sound, are located in a more remote and unmodified region of Fiordland.

During a study from 2009-2012, the populations in both Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound have increased in abundance. The first reported survival estimates for adult dolphins in Dusky Sound shows a very high survival rate. Calf survival in Doubtful Sound has improved, however, it is still the lowest reported for any wild non-provisioned bottlenose dolphin population.

In Dusky Sound, the calf survival rate is the second lowest survival rate for any wild non-provisioned bottlenose dolphin population.

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Publication information

Shaun Henderson
Contact address:  Department of Marine Science, University of Otago, Po Box 56, Dunedin

Published by:
Department of Conservation
Te Anau Area Office
Po Box 29
Te Anau 9640


Te Anau Office
Phone:   +64 3 249 0200
Address:   Te Anau Office
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Te Anau 9600
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Related link

Doubtful Sound bottlenose dolphins

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