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Decline of the southern right whale – In the News

John Kerr posted in on March 17th, 2016.

New research tracking the rapid decline and slow recovery of New Zealand’s southern right whale population has been widely covered in the media. The study, published this week in the journal Open Science, combined records from historic whaling logbooks and new genetic data to estimate changes in the the whale population over the last two […]

NZ’s whales almost killed off – Expert Reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 17th, 2016.

Relentless whaling decimated New Zealand’s southern right whale population to just a fraction of pre-whaling numbers by the start of last century, finds a new study. An international team of researchers combined historical records from whaling logbooks with modern genetic data to determine that around 30,000 southern right whales swam in New Zealand’s waters before […]

Rena remains on reef – In the News

John Kerr posted in on February 29th, 2016.

The wreck of the Rena container ship, its equipment and contents will remain on the Astrolabe Reef where it was grounded in 2011, following the decision of an independent panel commissioned by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, released last week. In May 2014, the owners of the wreck made an application to the Council […]

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Antarctic marine protection bids fail – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on November 2nd, 2015.

Two proposals to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Antarctic waters have failed to be adopted by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) at its annual meeting in Hobart. Proposals for MPAs in the Ross Sea and the East Antarctic coastal region were discussed, but the required final consensus by […]

UPDATED: Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on September 29th, 2015.

The Kermadec Islands and surrounding ocean – one of the Pacific’s most diverse and pristine marine environments – is to be protected from all forms of fishing and mining. The Prime Minister’s announced the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary this week at the United Nations in New York. More information, including a Q&A, is available on […]

NZ Sea Lion endangered – in the news

John Kerr posted in on June 25th, 2015.

The rare New Zealand Seal Lion has been listed as ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Sea Lion was previously listed as ‘Vulnerable’ but has been moved to ‘Endangered’ status following population decline due to disease, habitat modification caused by fishing, and accidental death as a result of bycatch. You can […]

Endangered Maui’s dolphin now on the cusp of extinction

Laura Goodall posted in on May 29th, 2015.

A new warning has sounded for the world’s smallest dolphin, with a researcher now reporting there are less than 50 Maui’s dolphins left. The New Zealand Herald reports that Dr Barbara Maas of the NABU International Nature Conservation Foundation and Otago University’s Professor Liz Slooten are presenting new research during discussions with 200 leading cetacean […]

Marine mammals mooted at meeting

John Kerr posted in on December 13th, 2013.

The Maui’s dolphin and other endangered marine mammals have been the focus of a huge international conference taking place in Dunedin this week. Marine biologists and conservationist have taken over the town as part of the Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals which this year has the theme, “Marine Mammal Conservation: Science Making a […]

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Southern right whale breeding studied

John Kerr posted in on June 27th, 2012.

The first paternity study of southern right whales has found a surprisingly high level of local breeding success for males, scientists say, which is good news for the overall genetic diversity of the species, but could create risk for local populations through in-breeding. Results of the study, by researchers at the University of Auckland, Oregon […]

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Maui’s dolphins need better protection – scientists

John Kerr posted in on March 14th, 2012.

A new Department of Conservation report estimates there are approximately 55 Maui’s dolphins left, leading experts to call for better protection for the world’s rarest dolphin.    The DOC report is based on DNA analysis of genetic samples collected from dolphins between February and March in 2010 and 2011. The research team collected samples from […]

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