What are Hectors Dolphins And Why Are They Endangered?

hectors dolphins 01 What are Hectors Dolphins And Why Are They Endangered?

There are plenty of things I didn’t know about the Hector’s dolphin. In fact, until recently, my only knowledge of them was the most troubling fact of all – that they’re among the rarest dolphins in the world. But seeing as how I’ve always been fascinated by these amazing creatures, I wanted to know more. And more importantly, I wanted to learn something less troubling about them. And what, if anything, we can do to help them.

Found only off the coast of New Zealand, the Hector’s dolphin was named for Sir James Hector (1834-1907), the curator of what is now the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand. The most influential local scientist of his time, Hector was the first to examine this particular species of indigenous dolphin. Primarily grey, black and white with a distinctive stripe running across its belly, this cetacean (air breathing, water living mammal) is the smallest dolphin in New Zealand’s waters and is most recognizable by its lack of discernible beak and its round dorsal fin. (The fins of New Zealand’s other dolphin species are pointed and crescent shaped.)

There are only an estimated 7,400 in left in the entire world

Aside from their beauty and playfulness – if you’ve ever watched dolphins, you can sense how much fun they’re having playing in the surf and exploring the shallow water – what has always fascinated me is the built in sonar they use to track down their prey. Using echolocation (seeing with sound), they send out streams of high frequency noises that travel through the water, bounce quickly off moving objects and then back, easily identifying what sort of fish is out there, where it is and how quickly it’s traveling. Incredible.

hectors dolphins 03 What are Hectors Dolphins And Why Are They Endangered?

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Nature | Killer Whales In Danger of Extinction

killer whale extinction Nature | Killer Whales In Danger of Extinction

More sad nature news and documentary on yet another species in trouble of going extinct. This time its the top predator of the sea, the Killer Whale. The Pacific coast of North America is the largest laboratory on earth where on-going studies into the state of the Killer Whale reveal startling new information about the oceans we inhabit. Killer in Peril is a sobering report on our planet’s heath told from the unique perspective of an extraordinary animal.

Via seattlepi.com: Killer whales in grave danger

Puget Sound’s southern resident killer whales are going extinct faster than the Seahawks playoff hopes, but the government agency charged with protecting them has refused to do anything about it. So today conservationists are going to court to force the agency to comply with the law and protect the whales from extinction. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Mauritius Echo Parakeet Performs Unusual Trick Moves Up The Endangered Species List

mauritius echo parakeet 01 Mauritius Echo Parakeet Performs Unusual Trick Moves Up The Endangered Species List

Since reports of endangered animals usually follow the same trajectory, I’m thrilled to report an anomaly.

For three-quarters of a century, the Mauritius Echo Parakeet has been dying out at an alarming rate. When the breed entered the “critically endangered” category on the World Conservation Union’s annual Red List of threatened species, it was expected to go the way of the dodo.

But after years of controlled breeding experiments, this bird has done an incredible thing: not only has it managed to hang on to life, it’s actually upped its status from “critically endangered” to simply “endangered”. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

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