Protect Rare Dolphin Species from Habitat Destruction

maui dolphin

Target: Nick Smith, Conservation Minister of New Zealand

Goal: Protect the rare Maui’s dolphins from threats posed by oil and gas exploration in their habitats

The Maui’s dolphin, a subspecies of Hector’s dolphins and one of the rarest dolphins in the world, can only be found off the west coast of the North Island in New Zealand. The species is listed as critically endangered as there is only an estimated 55 Maui’s dolphins that are older than one-year-old left in existence. Tragically, an average of five Maui’s dolphins are killed each year by gillnet fishing and trawling. Recently, oil and gas exploration has generated even more concern over the welfare of the dolphins.

With the proposed oil and gas exploration, combined with trawling and gillnet fishing, the Maui’s dolphins could face extinction in the next 30 years unless action is taken to preserve their habitat and protect their welfare. In the past, the New Zealand government has done an inadequate job of protecting these dolphins, and now the government has plans to allow oil and gas exploration in an area that overlaps with the Maui’s dolphins sanctuary. The Maui’s dolphins are already at risk due to net fishing. The impending oil spills and seismic blasts will only drive the dolphins out of their habitat and raise the potential for disaster.

Despite the overwhelming public support to save the Maui’s dolphins from extinction, the government has yet to take serious action to protect the species. Sign this petition and help protect the Maui’s dolphins from the oil and gas exploration that will destroy their habitat.


Dear Nick Smith,

It has come to my attention that the Maui’s dolphins, a rare dolphin species currently living off the west coast of the North Island in New Zealand, is at a great risk of becoming extinct due to proposed gas and oil exploration in their habitats. This species is critically endangered and is already threatened by gillnet fishing and trawling. The consequences of gas and oil exploration will surely place the dolphins on the verge of extinction.

The area in which the gas and oil exploration is planned to take place overlaps with the Maui’s dolphins’ sanctuary. The seismic surveying and imminent oil spill will ruin the dolphins’ habitats and drive them away unless serious action is taken to prevent it.

I understand that you claim the government is taking care to ensure the dolphins don’t become extinct, but I strongly believe that there is much more that can be done to protect the Maui’s dolphins. There are only an estimated 55 Maui’s dolphins over the age of one left in existence, and the government’s plan for gas and oil exploration will have a devastating impact on the long-term survival of the species. I urge you to help protect the Maui’s dolphins and find a way to shut down the oil and gas exploration before it can destroy their sanctuary.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Earthrace Conservation via Flickr

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