Author Project Jonah

Project Jonah is a registered charity and a New Zealand organisation, with a distinct flavour and feel. We pride ourselves on being passionate, honest, open and down to earth – things that Kiwis are well known for, both here and overseas. We exist for one simple reason – marine mammals desperately need our help. We've pioneered whale rescue techniques, and have shared this technology and expertise with the rest of the world. Whilst the animals are central to what we do, it’s people that make our work possible. Our strength comes from our volunteers; everyday Kiwis that give up their time to help marine mammals through our rescue, action and protection programs. Whether they’re picking up litter on beaches or getting hands on in rescuing stranded whales, they’re out there helping. Whatever the weather. New Zealand can lead the world in marine mammal welfare and protection. Your help puts us closer to that goal.

Reporting Sick or Injured Seals in New Zealand

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Project Jonah and the Department of Conservation receive a huge number of calls each year from concerned members of the public, reporting that seals are either ill, injured or in serious trouble – but sometimes this isn’t the case. By understanding the unusual quirks and habits of seals, we’re much better placed to help these animals when they really are in need. Find out how to identify ‘typical’ seal behaviour and when to call for help. Seals regularly come ashore or ‘haul out’ at points around New Zealand. Here’s some information you should know… Vomiting, sneezing or coughing? This is normal behaviour.…

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Stunning Documentary Captures Highs and Lows of Whale Stranding

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It has been almost three months since February’s mass stranding of pilot whales in Farewell Spit. With time to gather some perspective, we’re reflecting on the sheer magnitude of the event. It was the largest stranding in 99 years and had the largest human response ever. Between 220-250 whales died, but with volunteers help, over 450 whales survived! The event lasted four days and occurred over seven tide cycles. No matter how many times we look at the numbers, we struggle to comprehend the magnitude of this event. And that’s not even counting the tonnes of food donated and distributed by…

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Become a Marine Mammal Medic

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Each year, hundreds of whales and dolphins strand on our shores. Whilst some are sick or injured, others are healthy and just need a helping hand back out to sea. But saving whales isn’t as easy as it looks and successful rescue often depends on properly trained volunteers. That’s where you come in. You can become a Marine Mammal Medic with our one day course. It costs $120 ($75 for students with valid ID) and once trained you’ll be added to our national callout list.  That means that when a stranding occurs your lifesaving skills can be called upon. Click…

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How much do Kiwis know about Maui dolphins?

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Are you able to identify the Māui dolphin from the photos above? Nikki Fothergill is a Project Jonah Marine Mammal Medic who is studying for a Diploma in Marine Studies at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in Tauranga. For her second-year project she surveyed the New Zealand public to measure the level of awareness of Māui dolphins and their plight. For her project, Nikki interviewed 248 people in Auckland, Manawatu, Tauranga and Wellington. She found that 85% of people knew what a Māui dolphin was, however that was the limit of most of their knowledge. Her results found that: Only 29% of people interviewed knew that Māui…

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Learn more about False Killer Whales with Project Jonah

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The recent stranding (June 2016) of two false killer whales at Waimairi Beach, Christchurch was a rare event. The first stranding in eleven years and only the third ever South Island stranding, the last one being in 1984. For many people it was also the first time they have heard about these charismatic whales. Worldwide Like its namesake, the false killer whale (or Pseudorca) is a member of the dolphin family. The somewhat unfortunate name is derived from similarities in skull morphology between the false and the ‘actual’ killer whale (or orca). False killer whales have one of the widest global…

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