Coastal - Marine Research Group

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Common Dolphin - NZCDP

Based under the Coastal-Marine Research Group, the New Zealand Common Dolphin Project (NZCDP) began in 2002. The study originally focused on the occurrence, demographics and behavioural ecology of common dolphins in Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Using boat-based surveys, environmental and behavioural data were collected to describe habitat use and activity budgets of common dolphins within the Bay of Plenty and Hauraki Gulf waters. Potential impacts associated with tourism, pollution and fisheries bycatch have also been examined. Since its inception, the NZCDP has expanded to incorporate a variety of aspects:

  • Skull morphometrics of common dolphin (Delphinus sp) in New Zealand water 
  • Growth and reproductive biology of the New Zealand common dolphin (Delphinus sp)
  • Diet and nutritional ecology of common dolphins (Delphinus sp) in New Zealand waters using stable isotope, fatty acid and stomach content analyses
  • Population assessement of common dolphins (Delphinus sp) in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
  • Fine scale distribution and abundance of common dolphins (Delphinus sp) in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
  • Mother-offspring dynamics of foraging common dolphins (Delphinus sp) in the Hauraki Gulf
  • Vocal reportoire of New Zealand common dolphins (Delphinus sp)
  • Analysis of common dolphin (Delphinus sp) strandings within New Zealand waters
  • Common dolphin (Delphinus sp) ecology off Tauranga, New Zealand

Other species

  • Contaminant analysis of Hector’s (Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori) and Maui’s (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) dolphins
  • Responses of Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori) to vessel activity in Akaroa Harbour, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
  • Bryde's whale behaviour (Balaenoptera brydei) in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
  • Pectoral flipper morphology in New Zealand marine mammals
  • Vision in marine apex predators
  • Sensory and nutritional ecology of the Australasian gannets (Morus serrator)
  • Distribution and ecology of New Zealand turtles