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Friday 1 November 2013 3:40pm

Understanding the New Zealand Dolphin

Liz Slooten & Steve Dawson

dolphins_down_underThe book

New Zealand dolphins, also known as Hector's dolphins, are fascinating and beautiful animals. Found only in New Zealand waters, their numbers are now under constant threat – especially from human fishing activities.

This book introduces the dolphin to readers of all ages. The authors have devoted the last 30 years – more than a dolphin lifespan – to intensive study of the dolphin's distribution, behaviour, biology, reproduction and communication, using photography as their principal research tool. They have identified over 100 individuals and recorded their life events. Several of these dolphins feature inside.

Early on in their research the authors realised that dolphin numbers are not sustainable under current fishing practices. They describe these and other conservation problems as well as their solutions – both potential and existing – encouraging the reader to appreciate the fragility of the dolphins' existence.

The authors

LIZ SLOOTEN is an associate professor in Zoology at the University of Otago. She researches and publishes on reproductive and population biology, population viability analysis, impact of fisheries on marine mammals, marine conservation biology and marine mammal biology.

STEVE DAWSON is a professor in Marine Science at the University of Otago. He researches and publishes on conservation biology of marine mammals, incidental catch of marine mammals in fisheries, acoustic behaviour and communication in cetaceans, and line-transect surveys for inshore cetaceans.

The authors were awarded the 2004 Sir Charles Fleming Award by the Royal Society of New Zealand for outstanding contributions to conservation science.

Publication details

Paperback, 210 x 170 mm, 96 pages, colour throughout, ISBN 978 1 877578 38 0, $30.00


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