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The Hector’s dolphin is as Kiwi as the Kiwi and a Canterbury Cruise and Wildlife company says it is fantastic news to see Hector’s dolphins named in a drive to promote wildlife tourism and conservation In New Zealand.

The ‘Big Five’ concept is used by big-game hunters in Africa to refer to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Tourism New Zealand has borrowed this concept to develop its own unique ‘Small Five’ list to encourage travellers to come and see some of the world’s rarest creatures for themselves.

New Zealand’s ‘Small Five’ focuses on promoting awareness and conservation of five of its small, rare indigenous creatures – the nation’s iconic Kiwi, Hector’s dophin, yellow-eyed penguin, tuatara and kea.

“New Zealand’s has many indigenous and rare species and a holiday here offers unique experiences to enjoy seeing them, from a night walk to kiwi-spot on a deserted beach, to swimming with the world’s smallest dolphin,” Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton said when announcing the initiative.

“We are working closely with the Department of Conversation to raise our profile as a wildlife destination and while our ‘Small Five’ might not be as big as Africa’s, their uniqueness can’t be matched.”

The Department of Conservation and the operators working with these animals have active conservation programmes, which help to protect and preserve these rare birds and animals.

Black Cat Cruises Managing Director Paul Bingham welcomed the news of the programme and the fact the Hectors Dolphin made the list. “The Hector’s dolphin is as Kiwi as the Kiwi,” he said.

“For twenty five years we have been showcasing the beautiful Hector’s dolphins to an appreciative audience. We are proud to have raised awareness of the dolphins and will continue to provide the best opportunity to experience the dolphins up close, either by viewing them or a unique up close swim with dolphins cruise.”

The Hectors are special because they are our only native dolphin and cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.”

Tourism New Zealand has launched a dedicated feature on http://www.newzealand.com/wildlife to give visitors detailed information on where to see the Small Five and other unique wildlife experience in New Zealand.