The critically endangered Maui's dolphins will be getting high-tech help with the launch of a new smart phone app.
WWF-New Zealand has teamed up with app development company Alphero to launch a mobile app making it easier for boaties, surfers and beachgoers to report sightings of the world's smallest and rarest marine dolphin while on the go.
"We are down to the last 55 Maui's dolphins, so every sighting is valuable in building up a picture of where the animals are found and their behaviour," WWF-New Zealand's marine species advocate Milena Palka said.
"Maui's dolphins live only off the west coast of the North Island, yet less than half of their habitat is protected. The more we know about where they swim the better we can protect them."
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The app would allow users to report sightings, including time, date and location using GPS coordinates.
The information would be collected by WWF and verified by an independent dolphin expert.
Alphero director Caroline Dewe said they hoped the app would "contribute towards protecting this amazing species".