WDC has helped to develop a new app that will allow members of the public to record sightings of the endangered New Zealand dolphin. As the name suggests, these dolphins are only found in New Zealand and consist of two sub-species – Hector’s dolphin and the highly endangered Māui dolphin.
The app was developed by the team at ThunderMaps in conjunction with WDC and the New Zealand Department of Conservation with the information gathered being shared amongst universities and scientists to help with conservation efforts.
WDC consultant and project leader, Gemma McGrath, explained how the app can help; “Locals are excellent citizen scientists. You’re out observing the environment every day. With correct species identification, you can provide real scientific data. Hector’s dolphins are very distinctive from other dolphins. There’s nothing pointy about their fins, they’re very smooth and rounded. All other dolphin species have pointed fins. It’s now really fun and easy to report sightings, at the touch of a few buttons.
The beauty of this app is that you instantly have access to your own sightings, can edit them, and you can see all the data. With all eyes on the water, chances are you’ll see other species. This app enables you to record other whale and dolphin species too!”