Preliminary aerial survey for Hector's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori), north-west North Island

Clinton Duffy, Bryan Hamilton, Williams
In April 1999 New Plymouth Area conducted an aerial survey for Hector's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) between Urenui and Tirua Point. All coastal waters within 2 km (1.1 nautical miles) of shore were searched using an overhead fixed-wing aircraft flown at an altitude of 120 m. Counts were made of common dolphin, bottlenosed dolphin and 14 other species of marine mammal, sea bird and pelagic fish. No Hector's dolphin were observed. Reasons for the apparent absence of Hector's dolphin are
more » ... ussed. The report concludes with recommendations on the design of future aerial surveys for Hector's dolphin off northwest North Island.