The X- Men read an article on Kiwi Kids News called 'Maui dolphins on the verge of extinction' They then collaborated on describing this unique New Zealander.
WALT - Describe a Maui’s Dolphin
New Zealand is home to many unique animals such as the kiwi, kakapo, little blue penguin and the Maui’s dolphin.The Maui’s dolphin is extremely rare and is endangered with scientists believing that there are less than 50 left in the wild.
Appearance - Amelia and Kassius
There are two species of small dolphin found in New Zealand, these are the Maui’s Dolphin and the Hector's Dolphin. Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins are the smallest of the world’s 32 dolphin species. Females grow to just 1.7 m and weigh up to 50 kg, while males are slightly smaller.
Hectors dolphin and the Maui’s Dolphins - Hemish
Hector’s and Maui’s dolphin’s look different to other dolphins. They are the only New Zealand dolphins with a rounded black dorsal fin. Other dolphins usually have a sickle-shaped fin.
Range - Espen
Maui’s dolphins are only found in New Zealand’s North Island. Maui’s dolphins are generally found close to shore in pods of several dolphins and are often seen in water less than 2 m (this is about the same height as a full grown man).
Breeding - Seb and Eli
Maui’s dolphins are known to live for up to around 20 years. Females are not mature until seven to nine years old, and give birth to just one calf every two to four years. As there are only a few mature females left the number of babies being born is not high enough for the number of dolphin’s to increase.
Human Threats - Sativa and Aaliya
There are not many Maui dolphins left in New Zealand because people are threatening them.
The main threats to Maui’s dolphins are human activities such as
- Becoming tangled in fishing nets and drowning
- Being hit by boats and their propellers
- Becoming tangled in litter (especially plastics)
In the future humans need to help this special and unique New Zealand species. They can do this by encouraging the government to ban the use of fishing nets in the areas where the dolphins are. When out on a boat look carefully to make sure there are no dolphins close by and making sure no plastic litter gets dropped into the ocean.