new Zealand: Watch Hector’s dolphin (while you still can)
The second smallest dolphin (a subspecies of the Hector dolphin called the Maui is officially the smallest) in the sea is disappearing rapidly – there may be as few as 5,000 remaining around the coast of its native New Zealand.
A playful species, they appear to enjoy dragging around strings of seaweed (dolphins steal one another’s sea vegetation as part of some sort of specieswide game). These animals are thought of as friendly and they will approach boats.
There is a downside to being so curious though. As a coastal species, Hector’s dolphins often become entangled in fishing gear, sadly drowning as a result. However, researchers are working hard on technology that could repel marine mammals from fishing nets.