Dolphins and Whales

Home PageHome Page


News and EventsNews and Events


About UsAbout Us




Join our
mailing list!

Enter Email Address:


Welcome to the Whale and Dolphin Adoption Project

About Us:

Why does the Whale & Dolphin Adoption Project exist?
We exist to stimulate interest in New Zealand's marine mammals and raise much needed funding for researchers, Bow Riderseducation and conservation. Only when we truly understand cetaceans, will we be in a position to protect them after years of human interference.

What do we intend to do?
We intend to raise funds to contribute to research on marine mammals; create awareness and a sense of protection towards marine mammals; promote marine environment conservation.

How do we intend to do it?
Develop the adoption programme to its full potential and to the best of our ability; develop and circulate educational information on marine mammals creating public awareness and responsibility; and continue to build alliances and partnerships with other organisations to strengthen our common goals.

What are we committed to?
We are committed to the on-going research, education and preservation of marine mammals and the aquatic environment in which they live.

Who do we serve?
Our market is multifaceted, it includes people throughout the South Pacific who share an interest in the marine environment, people who are currently working to preserve the aquatic environment and people who don't yet know that the environment needs our help. We also serve the marine environment itself and all of its inhabitants.

Contributing Researchers

This inaugural group of researchers have joined us in establishing the foundations for a successful venture to benefit the marine mammals they are studying, and all cetaceans in the South Pacific.

Jewel Half-tail   -   Mike Donoghue
As part of the South Pacific Humpback Whale Project team, Mike and the scientists catalogue and study the Tongan humpback population through photo-ID of the tail flukes, DNA analysis and whale song. The project's goals are extensive, but include estimating the current abundance of humpback whales in Tongan waters and evaluating the evidence for population recovery.

Jewel Casper   -   Nathalie Patenaude
As part of her PhD thesis, Nathalie is researching the southern right whale population in the Auckland Islands. Whaling saw the species on the verge of extinction - and despite the fact that the numbers of right whales have increased in some regions of the Southern Ocean no such recovery has been apparent about New Zealand. Nathalie's research is specifically aimed at determining the population size and genetic status of New Zealand southern right whales.

Jewel Nosey   -   Kirsty Russell
Kirsty is completing her thesis on the distribution and abundance of Hector's dolphins populating the West Coast of the North Island. Because the majority of the Hector's dolphin population is found in the South Island, little is known about the animals populating the West Coast. Kirsty's valuable research aims to uncover more information about these extremely rare marine mammals.

Jewel Bad Jelly   -   Rochelle Constantine
PhD student, Rochelle Constantine is studying bottlenose dolphins around the Bay of Islands. Due to the expanding eco-tourism market in the North, Rochelle is concentrating on finding out about the effects of tourism on the Northland bottlenose population. She is also a recipient of the International Society for Marine Mammalogy, Emily B. Shane Award - for innovative, non-invasive research.

Jewel Tinkerbell   -   Dirk Neumann
As a PhD candidate, Dirk is devoting his time to the on-going study of common dolphins around the Coromandel Peninsula. Although common dolphins are regularly sighted, little is known about society and relationships among pod members. Dirk aims to gain insights into the dolphins' behavioural ecology, distribution and seasonal movements. Another aspect to Dirk's research is learning about the influence that eco-tourism has on the dolphins behaviour.

Jewel Xena   -   Tim Markowitz & April Harlin
Tim and April are continuing research begun by Dr. Bernd Wursig in the 1980's which entails the comparison of the lifestyles of dusky dolphins in NZ with those found in South American waters; examining the effects of tourism on dolphin movements, distribution, and behaviour; and studying the dolphins' vocalizations. The PhD candidates are examining the population structure and social organisation of NZ dusky dolphins by photo-ID, DNA analysis, video footage and detailed observations of pod behaviour.

Jewel Elephant Ears   -   Barbara Todd
Barbara has conducted extensive photo-ID research on New Zealand sperm whales off Kaikoura on the East Coast of the South Island. Also as part of Project Tohora, she has studied southern right whales in the Campbell Islands. Barbara is currently producing an invaluable educational resource on whales and dolphins for primary schools. Funding helps to ensure the delivery of the resource is free to primary schools within New Zealand.

We would like to thank everyone who has provided us with unfathomable support and encouragement over the two years it has taken to establish The Whale & Dolphin Adoption Project. A very special thanks is extended to:

  • Lionel Joyce
  • Jason and the team at Shore Graphics
  • Nicholson Printing
  • Project Jonah
  • Department of Conservation
  • Jo Berghan
  • Jo Ritchie
  • Fiona Powell (Her Business magazine)
  • Graham Brothers

To top
| Home Page |   | Adoptions |   | Magazine |   | Shopping |   | FAQ |
| Contact Us |   | News & Events |   | Adoptions Form |   | Links |   | Email |