Annual Maui Dolphin Day another roaring success.
Whaingaroa/Raglan is situated right in the middle of the coastal habitat of the Maui Dolphin – the world’s rarest and smallest dolphin. With relatively short lifespan and low rates of reproduction, the Maui dolphin is hugely impacted by habitat destruction and at risk from human fishing practices. The survival of this IUCN critically endangered species (recent estimates are that only around 55 individuals remain) depends upon attitudinal and behavioural change amongst coastal communities.
Maui Dolphin Day, run annually in conjunction with Whaingaroa Environment Centre (a Karioi Project partner), is the largest community day in Raglan – attracting 1500 people. It’s a collaborative community celebration highlighting the importance of our marine environment & whanau. The community’s creativity and spirit is perhaps best typified in the Xtreme Zero Waste Recycled Raft Race.
This year the A Rocha/Karioi KIDS interactive stand included an on-site touch tank with rocky shore creatures that kids could engage with up close and personal – and fitting, in light of a recent national referendum, a table where kids designed their own native species flags to make a combined banner. There was also a display of manual and self-setting predator traps – and an invitation for local residents to join the new “Karioi Backyard Trapping Program” that encourages local residents to trap predators on their own properties in support of the larger Karioi project .
The day was a huge success and the Karioi team came away excited and inspired again about their involvement in mountain to sea restoration.