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  • New Zealand's endangered Maui Dolphins swim just below the surface of a small stretch of ocean off the west coast of the North Island.

  • They're being followed overhead by drones, tracking their each and every movement as part of a new government backed project aimed at protecting the beloved sea creatures.

  • The Maui Drone Project uses artificial intelligence to find and track down the elusive Maui dolphins.

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday she has high hopes for the new program.

  • Really, it's about making sure that when we have those protections, we put them in the places that Maui dolphins really need them.

  • You know we've drawn basically geographical areas where were restricted certain types of fishing, but this will help us understand where they are, their movements where the extra protections are required.

  • The project is a one year collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries, nonprofit organization Maui 63 New Zealand's World Wildlife Fund.

  • With the support of local fisheries, officials say the drone technology can collect detailed data on the habitat's population, distribution and behavior of the dolphins, along with many other marine species such as seabirds and whales.

  • The drone will also ensure the dolphins remain undisturbed as they fly out of the water at an altitude of up to nearly 400 ft.

  • Current estimates suggest that only 63 dolphins age one year and older remain.

New Zealand's endangered Maui Dolphins swim just below the surface of a small stretch of ocean off the west coast of the North Island.

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B1 maui zealand drone project remain fly

Drones fly to protect rare New Zealand dolphins

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/27
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