Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cat poo, is killing Maui and Hector's dolphins. How much of a risk it poses to them remains a matter of debate.It's an incredibly successful parasite. Toxoplasma has infected 30 to 50 per cent of the world’s population, as well as all warm-blooded animals. But it has only one definitive host—cats.
 
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June 21, 2019
 
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A mind-altering parasite now infecting dolphins

Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cat poo, is killing Maui and Hector's dolphins. How much of a risk it poses to them remains a matter of debate.

It's an incredibly successful parasite. Toxoplasma has infected 30 to 50 per cent of the world’s population, as well as all warm-blooded animals. But it has only one definitive host—cats.

 
 
 
 
 
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Deep trouble

The world’s smallest, rarest dolphin lives in New Zealand. After the expansion of gill-netting in 1970, the population and range of Hector’s dolphin diminished rapidly. 

 
 
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There's a parasite for that

Toxoplasma gondii, which reproduces in cat poo, can drive humans to suicide, car accidents and neuroticism. It also make them more entrepreneurial. 

 
 
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Love rats

Male rats become more attractive when infected with Toxoplasma gondii—females will choose an infected male rat over one without the parasite. 

 
 
 
 
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The inheritance

Matariki is about to rise, heralding the Māori New Year. Rangi Matamua is bringing the astronomical knowledge of his ancestors into the light.

 
 
 
 
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Go fishing from your armchair...

New Zealand Geographic's NZVR Project lets you travel through New Zealand's wild places using virtual reality on any phone, tablet or desktop computer. Glide with stingrays at the Poor Knights, swim through swaying sargassum weed at the Three Kings, dive with pilot whales off the edge of the continental shelf, explore the shallows of Parengarenga Harbour, experience the charms and challenges of the Hauraki Gulf... even swim with humpback whales in Niue

Production was funded by Foundation North's Gulf Innovation Fund Together (GIFT), NZonAir and supported by partners WWF and Sir Peter Blake Trust.

 
 
 
 
 
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SPAT OVER CAT SCAT HARMING DOLPHINS
Environmentalists and fishers disagree over the impact a disease caused by cat faeces is having on Māui and Hector’s dolphins.
 
 
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