New app to aid dol­phins

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DASHA KU­PRIENKO

A Cromwell dol­phin en­thu­si­ast has cre­ated an app to pro­tect the unique crea­tures.

The Hec­tor’s Dol­phin Sight­ings app is made to track and re­port on the world’s small­est dol­phins while they are in un­pro­tected wa­ters of the south.

New Zealand whale and dol­phin con­sul­tant Gemma McGrath said lo­cals, who ob­serve the en­vi­ron­ment daily, make ’’ex­cel­lent cit­i­zen sci­en­tists’’ and can help the most.

‘‘With cor­rect species iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, you can pro­vide real scien- tific data,’’ she said.

Hec­tor’s dol­phins are dis­tinc­tive from other species. They have round and smooth fins, rather than pointed.

‘‘They are more of­ten seen dur­ing the sum­mer months, but they could turn up anytime, any­where.

‘‘It’s pretty ex­cit­ing mov­ing into sum­mer be­cause peo­ple will see more dol­phins on the beach,’’ McGrath said. The sight­ing up­load process was made sim­ple, she said.

An im­age up­load of dol­phins, their brief be­hav­iour de­scrip­tions and a lo­ca­tion does not re­quire a reg­is­tra­tion ev­ery time.

Hec­tor’s dol­phins

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