Mauis dolphins. Photo: Martin Stanley.

Mauis dolphin

Maui’s dolphins are a sub-species of Hector’s dolphins, the world’s smallest dolphin. They are found on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand and nowhere else in the world. It is one of the world’s rarest dolphins. 

The dolphin is listed internationally as 'critically endangered', which means there is a high risk of it becoming extinct in the near future. A recent abundance estimate for Maui's dolphin indicates as few as 55 individuals over one year of age remain (95% confidence interval of 48 - 69).

Get quick facts about Maui's dolphin.

Your help is urgently sought to look out for Maui’s dolphins around New Zealand and to report sightings immediately. What to do if you think you have seen a Maui’s dolphin.


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Whare Kaupapa Atawhai / Conservation House
Phone:      +64 4 471 0726
Full office details


To report whale or dolphin strandings phone 24 hour emergency number: 0800 DOCHOT (0800 362 468) 

In the North Island, immediately report any Hector’s/Maui’s dolphin sightings south of Awakino (near the Taranaki – Waikato boundary) and on the East Coast.

DOC is especially interested in these sightings as they represent areas of the range of Maui's dolphins where genetic samples are limited. How you can help.