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#77 Hector's Dolphin


Cetartiodactyla Week

These are the only cetacean endemic to New Zealand. Cetacean being the first half of the name Cetartiodactyla, the super order I'm doing right now. This is the world's smallest dolphin. They can be as small as only 3'11" long, and even the largest are only 5'3" long. By comparison, orca, the largest of the dolphins, can be 30' long, and the common bottlenose that everyone thinks of when they hear the word dolphin can be up to 12'6" long. At birth these can be as small as 2' long and only 18 pounds. There are fewer than 8000 left and each female only ever has 4-7 calves in their whole lifetime. That means that the population will always struggle to recover from losses in comparison to a species that might have multiple offspring at a time, or one a year for many years. These do not live in large pods, usually only 3 or 4 per group in fact and they tend to segregate by sex. Their biggest threat is entanglement in gillnets. They may live in the ocean, but when they are trapped in a net they can drown.

Well, something drastic and not good happened with my extended family today. That, plus worrying about funding, and getting emotionally overwhelmed by just how many animals are at risk and many of them don't seem to have anyone who cares or is doing anything about it...I have decided I need to stop for now. My spirit is pretty much broken now. If I had been able to get a grant or my Patreon had taken off so that I didn't feel I was putting our finances at risk if I continued, I would still be having a hard time but would be able to continue. I will finish out the week with a charcoal tomorrow. It is one that I had planned to do in oils next week, but I will do it tomorrow so it is included. I feel as if I am letting animals down which is hard. I've done a bit of crying today. Family needs to come first though. I don't think of this as a total end to the project. I would like things to get better and for me to be able to pick this back up again. Unfortunately I do not know how long from now that might be, and I cannot guarantee I am going to start up again. At least I will have shared 445 different species with you by the end of tomorrow. I hope that some of you out there have learned things, and maybe decided that you could do something to help species at risk.

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