Hector’s Dolphin / Tūpoupou are the smallest and rarest marine dolphins in the world and only found in New Zealand waters.
Their calving normally occurs between November and mid February in the bays of the Tūpoupou Marine Protected Area. The new born calves are small at only 60-80cm and weigh 8-10 kg and look like a rugby ball with fins.
It is planned to install a series of bouys and markers to highlight the area and the requirement to slow down. There will also be an education campaign to raise awareness.
Injury from boats is a significant risk because Hector’s dolphins live close inshore, often in bays and harbours. New born dolphins are particularly vulnerable as they swim relatively slowly, close to the surface so would be slow to get out of the way of a fast moving boat.
So there is lots to do before October to be ready for the new arrivals. By working together we can protect the next generation.