Drones used to help maui dolphins

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Drones are taking to the skies to help improve the numbers of Māui dolphins.

MAUI63 is a non-profit organisation that is developing the special zone. It will be capable of finding and tracking Māui dolphins in the wild.

The drones will be fitted with a 50x optical zoom camera and can fly and film for up to six hours. When being used the drone will hover at an altitude of more than 100m above the sea.

Initial testing of the drone shows the AI technology can distinguish Māui dolphins from other species with over 90% accuracy.

This will give scientists important information about where they live and their habitat.

Currently, there are an estimated 63 adults remaining in the wild.

Māui dolphins are a subspecies of the Hector’s dolphin. They are one of the rarest dolphins in the world, living in a small stretch of ocean off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

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