Research and scientific studies are essential to better understand these dolphins and support the long-term recovery of their populations.

We work with university researchers and conservation organisations to find out more about the dolphins, the threats they face and how best to manage the threats.

Research includes work to better understand the biology of the animals and the way they use their environment, including their abundance, distribution, behaviour and diet.

Research can help answers questions like:

  • Can the population of Māui dolphin recover and if so, how long will it take?
  • How are dolphin populations affected by the ways we use the marine environment? Such as, seabed mining, seismic surveying and coastal development?
  • Can Māui dolphin and Hector's dolphin interbreed?
  • How can the threats from toxoplasmosis be managed and reduced?

Hector's and Māui dolphin Research Strategy 2021

The purpose of the Hector’s and Māui dolphin Research Strategy is to support the vision and goals of the Hector’s and Māui Dolphin Threat Management Plan (TMP).

Gathering more information on Hector’s and Māui dolphins and the threats impacting them is crucial to ensuring the actions implemented under the TMP are appropriate and lead to the dolphins thriving and recovering.

Hector's and Māui dolphin Research Strategy 2021 (PDF, 712K)

Hector’s and Māui dolphin current research projects

Spreadsheet showing current Hector's and Māui dolphin research (XLSX, 14K)

Dolphin sightings

As part of our research, we record sightings of Hector’s and Māui dolphins to better understand their distribution.

Other research

Publications related to Hector’s and Māui dolphin


Threat research

Submissions to the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee

Dolphin distribution and occurrence

Preliminary reports on dolphin occurrence using acoustic recording devices in:

Tourism and awareness

Back to top