Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) are marine cetaceans endemic to the coastal waters of New Zealand. There are 4 main regional populations of Hector’s dolphins, which are geographically and reproductively isolated from each other. Of the 4 distinct populations of Hector's dolphins, one is found along the west coast of North Island, between Dargaville and New Plymouth. This particular population, referred to as Maui's dolphin, is very small, containing approximately 111 individuals. Their range has greatly declined over the last few decades. On the South Island, there are three populations of Hector's dolphin that are genetically distinct from one another. These populations reside along the west, east and south coasts, excluding Fiordland. The total population of Hector’s dolphins around the South Island was estimated at 7240 individuals in 2004, with 5388 found on the west coast, mostly concentrated between 41º30’S and 44º30’S. Hector’s dolphins are most abundant between Karamea and Makawhio Point on the west coast and around Banks Peninsula on the east coast.
Biogeographic Regions: australian (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )