We recently completed an updated abundance estimate for Maui’s dolphins, a sub-species of New Zealand’s endemic Hector’s dolphin (Hamner et al. 2012). The use of genetic mark-recapture techniques proved to be very useful in understanding the relatedness, ranging behaviour (Oremus et al. In Press), and population structure of these Critically Endangered dolphins. We documented the appearance of two female Hector’s dolphins from the west coast, South Island in amongst the Maui’s dolphins which, if they interbreed, may ensure the future of these dolphins along the west coast of the North Island. This work is conducted by Rebecca Hamner (PhD student at Oregon State University) in collaboration with Prof. Scott Baker.
Rebecca Hamner (MSc (Hons); University of Auckland) – PhD student, Oregon State University,
Supervisor Prof. Scott Baker