Hector's Dolphins


Hector's dolphin is the only dolphin found in New Zealand coastal waters and nowhere else in the world. They are rarer than most species of Kiwi and continue to be threatened by commercial and recreational fishing.

Hector's Dolphin

Key Points

  • Hector's dolphins are endangered and found only in NZ
  • Entanglement in fishing nets is the number one threat
  • Current protection is not enough to ensure population recovery
  • Protection urgently needs to be extended to waters 100 m deep

Hector's dolphins are easy to identify. No other dolphin has a rounded dorsal fin. The fins on most dolphins look more like a triangle, like a shark's fin. Hector's dolphins are very small, up to 1.4m long. Other dolphins are roughly human-size, about 2 metres long, or larger. Hector's dolphins live close to shore, in shallow waters of up to 100 m depth.

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