Māui dolphins

Image: Martin Stanley | DOC


We're involved with many stakeholders and conduct a wide range of work concerning the critically endangered Māui dolphin.


Much of this work is influenced and guided by the Hector’s and Māui Dolphin Threat Management Plan.

Research and scientific studies continue to increase our knowledge about Māui dolphin ecology, conservation status, life history, and threats. This will help manage the Māui dolphin's long-term viability and recovery in their natural range.

There is still a lot that we don’t know about Māui dolphin, including:

  • if the population can recover, and how quickly
  • how it will be affected by the increasing use of their home range by humans, eg marine mining, seismic surveying, marine construction and coastal development
  • if there is the potential for interbreeding between Māui dolphins and South Island Hector's dolphins

DOC, with university researchers and conservation groups, is seeking answers to these questions using a range of research methods and techniques. You can help with this research by reporting sightings of Māui dolphin.


Māui dolphin

With fewer than 100 Māui dolphin left in the wild, this New Zealand treasure needs all our help to survive.

Report sightings

Look out for Māui dolphin around the North Island and report sightings immediately.

Māui dolphin Research Advisory Group

This group identifies and prioritises research to help manage Māui dolphin recovery and conservation.

West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary

This sanctuary protects Māui dolphin.

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