Hyperoodon planifrons 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Ziphiidae

Scientific Name: Hyperoodon planifrons Flower, 1882
Common Name(s):
English Southern Bottlenose Whale, Flatheaded Bottlenose Whale
French Hyperoodon Austral
Spanish Ballena A Nariz De Botella Del Sur, Ballena Hocico De Botella Del Sur
Taxonomic Notes: For many years there was speculation that a species of “tropical bottlenose whale” that had been repeatedly observed at sea in the Indo-Pacific may have been this species. However, that species is now known to be Longman’s Beaked Whale Indopacetus pacificus (Pitman et al. 1999; Dalebout et al. 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Taylor, B.L., Baird, R., Barlow, J., Dawson, S.M., Ford, J., Mead, J.G., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Wade, P. & Pitman, R.L.
Reviewer(s): Hammond, P.S. & Perrin, W.F. (Cetacean Red List Authority)
Global trend data for this species are unavailable but it is abundant. The potential threats to this species are believed currently insufficient to cause a 30% global reduction over three generations.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Southern bottlenose whales have a circumpolar distribution in the southern Hemisphere, south of about 30°S (Mead 1989; Jefferson et al. 1993). Most sightings are from about 57°S to 70°S. There are known areas of concentration between 58°S and 62°S in the Atlantic and eastern Indian Ocean sectors of their range. They are found in Antarctic waters during the summer.
Countries occurrence:
Antarctica; Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); New Zealand; South Africa; Uruguay
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – Antarctic; Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – Antarctic; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – Antarctic; Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Southern bottlenose whales are the most common beaked whales sighted in Antarctic waters, and are clearly abundant there. Kasamatsu and Joyce (1995) estimated an abundance of 599,300 (CV=15%) beaked whales south of the Antarctic Convergence in January, most of which were considered to be southern bottlenose whales. This estimate of abundance is likely underestimated because the methods used did not account for the fact that beaked whales dive for long periods and are inconspicuous when they surface (Barlow 1999).

There is no information on trends in the global abundance of this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Hyperoodon planifrons is most common beyond the continental shelf and over submarine canyons, in waters deeper than 1,000 m. It is rarely found in water less than 200 m deep. In summer, this species is most frequently seen within about 100 km of the Antarctic ice edge, where it appears to be relatively common. Cockcroft et al. (1990) reported sightings in the steep thermocline between the Agulhas current and cold Antarctic water masses.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No significant exploitation of southern bottlenose whales is known, and they have never been hunted on a large scale. Although never taken commercially, some southern bottlenose whales have been killed during whaling for research purposes. Some have also been incidentally killed in driftnets (Croxall and Nicol 2004). Recently several of this species have been recorded as bycatch of driftnet fishing in the Tasman Sea. Numbers taken annually are not known, however, (Jefferson et al. 1993).

This species, like other beaked whales, is likely to be vulnerable to loud anthropogenic sounds, such as those generated by navy sonar and seismic exploration (Cox et al. 2006).

Developing high-latitude fisheries, such as that for Antarctic toothfish, have the potential to reduce food available for large predators, such as Hyperoodon planifrons. That this fishery has a significant illegal component is an additional concern.

Predicted impacts of global climate change on the marine environment may affect southern bottlenose whales, although the nature of impacts is unclear (Learmonth et al. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed in Appendix I of CITES. Commercial whaling of this species would be regulated by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

There is very little information about this species, its biology, abundance, bycatch rates or migratory patterns (Dixon et al. 1994). More research is clearly needed.

Citation: Taylor, B.L., Baird, R., Barlow, J., Dawson, S.M., Ford, J., Mead, J.G., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Wade, P. & Pitman, R.L. 2008. Hyperoodon planifrons. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T10708A3208830. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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