Lissodelphis peronii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lissodelphis peronii
Species Authority: (Lacépède, 1804)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Right Whale Dolphin
Spanish Delfín Liso Austral, Tunina Sinaleta
French Dauphin Aptère Austral

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K.A., Karkzmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y. , Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B.
Reviewer(s): Rojas-Bracho, L. & Smith, B.D.
There is a lack of adequate information to make an assessment of extinction risk for this species (including the lack of a population estimate, and lack of an assessment of the impact of by-catch in Chile).
1996 Data Deficient

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The distribution of this species is poorly known, though it appears to be circumpolar and fairly common throughout its range (Jefferson et al. 1994, Lipsky 2002). Southern Right Whale Dolphins are found only in cool temperate to subantarctic waters of the Southern Hemisphere, mostly between about 30°S and 65°S. The southern limit appears generally to be bounded by the Antarctic Convergence. The range extends furthest north along the west coast of continents, due to the cold counter clockwise currents of the Southern Hemisphere. The northernmost record is at 12°S, off northern Peru.

The map shows where the species may occur based on oceanography. The species has not been recorded for all the states within the hypothetical range as shown on the map. States for which confirmed records of the species exist are included in the list of native range states.
Argentina; Australia; Bouvet Island; Brazil; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); French Southern Territories; Mozambique; Namibia; New Zealand; Peru; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (Tristan da Cunha); South Africa; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Uruguay
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – Antarctic; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – southwest; Indian Ocean – Antarctic; Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – Antarctic; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – southwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are no estimates of abundance for the Southern Right Whale Dolphin, and virtually nothing is known of the subpopulation structure or status of the species. Preliminary boat surveys and the rapid accumulation of stranding and fishery interaction records in northern Chile suggest that the Southern Right Whale Dolphin may be one of the most common cetaceans in that region (Jefferson et al. 1994, Van Waerebeek et al. 1991). Aguayo et al. (1998) reported that L. peronii are very common between Valparaiso and 76°W, i.e. just off the Chilean coast.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Southern Right Whale Dolphins are observed most often in cool, deep, offshore waters with temperatures of 1–20°C. They are only occasionally seen nearshore, and this is generally where deep water approaches the coast (Jefferson et al. 1994; Rose and Payne 1991).

The Southern Right Whale Dolphin feeds primarily on squid and fish (Jefferson et al. 1994).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested in Chile and Peru for human food, and as bait in crab fisheries.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Southern Right Whale Dolphins have been directly taken in recent years in Peru and Chile for crab bait and for human consumption (Jefferson et al. 1994). There are no estimates of the mortality levels.

The only incidental catch of any magnitude that is known is in the swordfish gillnet fishery off Chile. There is concern that large numbers are being killed in the driftnet fishery for Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) that began in northern Chile in the early 1980s (Reyes and Oporto 1994). They are also known to be taken incidentally in driftnets along the coasts of Peru (Jefferson et al. 1993).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix II of CITES. Because no population estimates are available, mortality rates and their effect on the population(s) are unknown. More research is clearly needed.

Citation: Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K.A., Karkzmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y. , Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B. 2012. Lissodelphis peronii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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