A number of conservation groups have stepped forward to increase awareness of the critical plight of these creatures. You can visit them to learn how you can help:
New Zealand Whale
and Dolphin Trust
Hector’s and Maui’s
Save Our Maui Dolphin
Maui's Dolphins- The Smallest and Rarest of Dolphins
Written by Amy Ramsey
Maui’s dolphins, the world’s rarest dolphin, are found only one place in the world, off of the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. They are New Zealand’s only native sub-species of dolphin. These unique little dolphins are also the smallest marine dolphins on the planet; so small that they could easily fit into a bathtub.
They are a sub-species of Hector’s dolphins, which are found, endemically, off the coasts of New Zealand. As of 2012, it was reported that there are only 55 Maui’s dolphins remaining in existence.
This small number of Maui's dolphins leaves an extremely reduced genetic pool resource for the animals to reproduce from, possibly leading to increased incidences of genetic problems, and an increased failure to thrive as a sub-species.
Due to a longer-than-average cetacean maturation time from calf to adult (8 years), the Maui's dolphins reproduce much slower than other cetaceans. In addition to this, they are slow breeders and tend to have only one calf every two to three years. This lower reproductive rate, combined with increased threats from entanglement in commercial fishing gill and trawl nets, have led their numbers to devastating near-extinction levels.
World class award winning marine mammal biologists, Liz Slooten, and her husband Steve Dawson, founded the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust in 1992 to enhance research and conservation of cetaceans in New Zealand. They have their fingers on the pulse of the current Hector and Maui dolphin conservation and research affairs.
It is estimated by the scientific community that the Maui dolphins will become extinct by the year 2030, unless our direct effect on the lives of these smallest and rarest of dolphins changes immediately.
Some articles submitted from Sacred Dolphin International, and on behalf of our friends.
The Cetacean Nation - The Human-Dolphin Foundation
Conceived by Dr. John C. Lilly
The following founding statement was composed with Michael Bailey and Roberta Quist-Goodman in 1993.
The rights of man have slowly developed over the last few centuries. The rights that each of us enjoys today in the United States have been carefully developed in our laws. Our past history teaches us that our rights evolved through certain stages, from the unconscious acceptance of a lack of rights, to the conscious awareness of the need for adequate expression of an intolerable situation or state, to the demand for the relief articulated in law, to the law and its adequate administration.
As each group of humans, through its own experience, learned to feel its lack of sharing in the benefits of laws and their administration, each developed adequate spokesmen or spokeswomen for its cause. These individuals were either inside or outside the group needing relief.
This same situation can now be seen reflected in the existence of cetaceans. Recognized as having brains which are in some ways even more biologically complex than humans, and having complex social structures, languages and social behaviour which are also at least as complex as humans, the question remains: should cetaceans be given individual rights under human laws?
The size and complexity of the cetacean brain has been known for many years. Only recently has microscopic analysis shown that their cellular densities and connections are quite as large and complex as our own.
Throughout history, through to the present day, human beings have conducted large-scale acts of genocide on each other. Even today, in many parts of the world, we can observe mass slaughter of our own species. Bosnia, Hercegvina, Somalia and Cambodia are but a few examples of this. At the same time, a similar mass-annihilation of highly evolved, intelligent and sentient creatures, the whales and dolphins, can also be seen throughout the world.
The future of many species of whales and dolphins is in question. The Baiji, or Yangtze River Dolphin, the Vaquita dolphin found in the Sea of Cortez, and the North Pacific Right Whale are but a few species whose chances of being completely exterminated from our earth during the next two decades is almost a certainty.
To insure the survival of cetaceans, in light of the continuous onslaught by their terrestrial counterparts, human beings, it is essential that cetaceans be recognized for what they truly are: non-terrestrial intelligent life forms. Life forms which do indeed have the same inherent rights that human beings have to survive and to live in peace.
To attain this goal, it is essential that the cetaceans attain a status in human society in which they are recognized as the intelligent life forms that they are. It is with this goal in mind that a Cetacean Nation is now being initiated.
The Cetacean Nation name was born out of the incredible mind of world known dolphin researcher, writer, philosopher, neurophysiologist and cultural icon, Dr. John C. Lilly (1915-2001).