Distribution and habitat

Dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) are confined to the southern hemisphere in temperate and subantarctic waters between around 26°S and 55°N. Main populations occur around South America, off south western Africa and in New Zealand waters. In New Zealand, dusky dolphins appear south of East Cape and are rare in more Northern waters. They have been recorded as far south as Campbell Island and east out to the Chatham Islands, with main populations occurring in Kaikoura and Admiralty Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. Large groups of several hundred to over 1000 dusky dolphins are present in Kaikoura all year round with individuals moving north to feed at Admiralty in winter months. Duskys are a highly coastal species and generally prefer waters less than 2000 m deep.