Hectors Dolphin photo by Avenue

Hectors Dolphin

Hector’s dolphin  is one of four dolphin species belonging to the genus Cephalorhynchus. Hector’s dolphin is the only cetacean endemic to New Zealand, and comprises two subspecies: C. h. hectori, the more numerous subspecies, also referred to as South Island Hector’s dolphin; and the critically endangered Māui dolphin (C. h. maui), found off the West Coast of the North Island.

It is the smallest dolphin species with adults length between 1.2 and 1.6m. The species’ range includes murky coastal waters out to 100 m (330 ft) depth, though almost all sightings are in waters shallower than 50 m (160 ft). Hector’s dolphins display a seasonal inshore-offshore movement; favouring shallow coastal waters during spring and summer, and moving offshore into deeper waters during autumn and winter. They have also been shown to return to the same location during consecutive summers, displaying high foraging site fidelity. The inshore-offshore movement of Hector’s dolphins are thought to relate to seasonal patterns of turbidity and the inshore movements of prey species during spring and summer.

There are 2 subspecies,

  • South Island Hectors dolphin – Threatened, and with a decreasing population, currently thought to number around 10,000
  •  Maui dolphin – critically endangered, population under 50.
These diverged 50,000-60,000

Below, you will see a list of articles on this subject, and below that, you will see a video on this species

Below both of these, we will add links and information (as we get it) so that you can see these dolphins if you are in the area.

See Animals Wild