Seeing the value in NZ’s dolphins

Dolphins Down Under: Understanding the New Zealand Dolphin,

by Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson (Otago University Press, RRP $30):

Found only in New Zealand’s waters, Hector’s dolphins are both cute and fascinating. They are also – as the publisher points out – as “Kiwi as the kiwi but their numbers are under threat”.

All too often, we lose sight of what it is that makes our little corner of the world so appealing to tourists, and while we locals tend to place a lot of importance (and throw a lot of money at) sporting events, they tend to be mainly of interest to Commonwealth countries and the big money-earners happen every few years. Our beautiful countryside, beaches and rivers, and our incredible critters, attract overseas and their credit cards all year round. If we lose our unique creatures, it would be a national tragedy and also a costly one.

Suitable for a wide range of ages, this little book is packed with information about these creatures and the dangers they face, especially from fishing.

The passion of the authors shines through and it is hard not to share in that passion once you learn more about these dolphins.

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