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Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

J35 and J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238 Tahlequah...
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Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Orcas are one of only five species known to experience menopause and females can live...
Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Wildlife experts in Australia's Northern Territory are monitoring a humpback whale that has travelled 18...
Rastus – the tale of an extraordinary dog and his love of dolphins

Rastus – the tale of an extraordinary dog and his love of dolphins

Rastus Dr Nicolette Scourse is an academic, educator, author and illustrator with a passion for...

Significant Victory for WDC in Fight to Save World’s Smallest Dolphins

Two beautiful Hector's dolphins leap just off new Zealand's coast. © Mike Bossley

A significant victory in the fight to save dolphins in New Zealand from extinction! This comes in the form of stricter fishing and environmental protections for the critically endangered Māui and endangered Hector’s dolphins that have been sanctioned by the government.

This gives the Māui and Hector’s a fighting chance of survival and comes after a long campaign by WDC.

Hector's and Māui dolphins are the smallest dolphins in the world. They live only around New Zealand and death in nets has driven them closer to a point where we would lose these species forever. Their numbers began plummeting in the 1970s, as the use of plastic nylon netting rapidly expanded around New Zealand.

There are fewer than 60 Māui dolphins left and Hector's have been reduced to less than 25% of their former numbers.

WDC congratulates the New Zealand government for its decision to put in place stricter fishing and environmental protections for these endangered dolphins.

Mike Bossley from WDC said:  ‘This is a big win for dolphins and for New Zealand’s reputation as a green nation.  WDC has campaigned for Māui and Hector’s dolphins for over twenty years and, while this decision doesn’t go as far as we had hoped, it is a big leap forward.  This eleventh-hour reprieve gives the Māui dolphin a fighting chance to come back the brink of extinction.'

‘More than 60,000 WDC supporters petitioned for these protections and we are delighted that the coalition government of Jacinda Ardern has listened.  We are especially pleased to see the protection of the sea around the top of the South Island, a decision backed up by data collected by members of the public using WDC’s dolphin sightings app.  This is a huge vote of confidence in the value of citizen science.’

While WDC welcomes the good news, we will continue to work hard to lower the risks these dolphins still face.

A big 'thank you' to all of our supporters who have helped with this campaign so far.

Please donate to help us continue to fight to protect these small dolphins and give them a bright future!

One of the best ways you can help whales and dolphins is to share the good news!

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