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Investigation of electronic device options to assess distribution, diving and foraging behaviour of Hector’s dolphins


RFx ID : 21433235
Tender Name : Investigation of electronic device options to assess distribution, diving and foraging behaviour of Hector’s dolphins
Reference # : POP2019-06
Open Date : Wednesday, 28 August 2019 9:00 AM (Pacific/Auckland UTC+12:00)
Close Date : Monday, 7 October 2019 12:00 PM (Pacific/Auckland UTC+13:00)
Tender Type : Request for Proposals (RFP)
Tender Coverage : Sole Agency  [?]
Categories :
  • 70000000 - Farming and Fishing and Forestry and Wildlife Contracting Services
  • 77000000 - Environmental Services
  • 81000000 - Engineering and Research and Technology Based Services
  • New Zealand
Exemption Reason : None
Required Pre-qualifications : None
Contact : DOC Procurement Team
Please direct all communication through GETS
Alternate Physical Delivery Address  : N/A
Alternate Physical Fax Number  : N/A

Substantial work has been undertaken to assess and address the risk of fisheries bycatch to Hector’s and Māui dolphins through the Threat Management Plan . However, fully understanding the risk is limited by gaps in our knowledge on the fine scale distribution and behaviour of the dolphins.

Satellite tagging has been proposed in the past as a tool to fill knowledge gaps. However, technology at the time required invasive techniques to deploy the tags on dolphins and was considered high risk for use on Hector’s and Māui dolphins.

The last time the technology was considered was at the formation of the Māui dolphin Research Advisory Group in 2014. Technology has likely progressed since then. The purpose of this project is to assess the current state of the technology to see if it has advanced enough to answer questions about Hector’s and Māui dolphin distribution and foraging behaviour while minimising the potential risk of the tag deployment to the dolphins. This project will start off by investigating available tracking options that would allow for a more comprehensive research project to be undertaken on Hector’s dolphins. This study will assess similar research conducted, both nationally and internationally, to ascertain a fit-for-purpose method(s) for measuring spatial use in small marine mammals. Options need to be assessed based on set criteria such as longevity, cost-effectiveness, and impact to the animal. This study will also provide recommendations on the effective time-period for the subsequent research project.