Hector’s dolphins inhabit the coastal waters of New Zealand and are typically observed in water less than 90 meters deep. There have been sightings as far as 4 nautical miles off the west coast of North Island, 6 nautical miles off the west coast of South Island, and 15 nautical miles off the east coast of South Island; all of which occurred in water no deeper than 90 meters. Hector’s dolphins are most often observed less than 1 km from the shoreline. During the austral summer, Hector's dolphins prefer to be close to shore. During winter they tend to be more dispersed and are found farther from shore. During spring, they may migrate to different coastal areas or return to the same area as the previous summer.
Range depth: 1 to 90 m.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; saltwater or marine
Aquatic Biomes: coastal
- Brager, S., S. Dawson, E. Slooten, S. Smith, G. Stone, A. Yoshinaga. 2002. Site fidelity and along-shore range in Hector’s dolphin, an endangered marine dolphin from New Zealand. Biological Conservation, 108: 281-287.