The Brink of Extinction: Saving the Maui Dolphin Using Surfer Science

                      Executive Summary       Final Report

Project Abstract

This project aided the World Wide Fund for Nature – New Zealand and the Department of Conservation in improving the Spatially Explicit Fisheries Risk Assessment habitat model of the endangered Maui dolphin. We developed and tested a survey to estimate surfer effort along the West Coast of the North Island. Survey analysis indicated that this method can be used to measure surfer effort and improve spatial modeling techniques. We successfully distributed awareness materials to promote the importance of reporting Maui dolphin sightings. Our findings show that this methodology can be applied to other cases of endangered species habitat mapping.

Student Team

  • Issac Lincoln Beeman
  • Jillian Elizabeth Comeau
  • Karin Ann Plante
  • Lucas David Reiniger


World Wildlife Fund and NZ Dept of Conservation


  • Clark, Constance
  • Rosenstock, Joshua