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Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Rarest Dolphin In The World

The Maui´s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) which is formally known as a subspecies of the Hector´s dolphins is the world´s rarest dolphin. These unique creatures are also very small in size, the female dolphin can grow up to 1.7 meters long and weigh something like 50kg, whereas the male dolphin is somewhat smaller and lighter. Maui´s dolphins are easily recognized by their dark grey rounded dorsal fin and their short snout. The Overall color is a pale grey but closer inspection reveals various grey, black and white markings.

These outstanding creatures are usually found close to shore and generally spotted in water less than 20 meters deep, in groups of 2 to 8 dolphins. They are extremely active and playful. They spend the majority of their time feeding on fish and squid. The dolphins are known to live up to 20 years.

Maui´s dolphins can only be found throughout the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Unfortunately, it is the most endangered subspecies of all marine mammals. There are approximately 110 Maui´s dolphins in the wild. Maui's dolphins are critically endangered due to the amount of fishing nets in their area. They are often drowned after entanglement in nets and wounded by boats.Maui´s dolphins are classified by the Department of Conservation in the New Zealand Threat Classification System as "Nationally Critical”.

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