Mesoplodon carlhubbsi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Ziphiidae

Scientific Name: Mesoplodon carlhubbsi Moore, 1963
Common Name(s):
English Hubbs' Beaked Whale, Arch-beaked Whale, Hubbs's Beaked Whale
French Mésoplodon De Hubbs
Spanish Ballena De Pico De Hubbs, Zifio De Hubbs
Taxonomic Notes: In the past, there was some suggestion that this species may simply be a subspecies of M. bowdoini (and some previous records were erroneously attributed to that species), but recent genetic studies confirm its specific distinctness (Dalebout et al. 1998, 2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient 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 or abundance data for this species are unavailable. As a relatively uncommon species it is potentially vulnerable to low-level threats and a 30% global reduction over three generations cannot be ruled out (criterion A).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Apparently limited to the North Pacific Ocean, Hubbs' beaked whale is known from central British Columbia to southern California in the east, and from Japan (including the Sea of Japan) in the west (Mead 1989; MacLeod et al. 2006). Although the vast majority of records are of strandings, sightings have been made off the coast of Oregon and Washington (Mead et al. 1982, Heyning 1984). This is an oceanic species, and the range is thought to be continuous across the North Pacific, although this is not confirmed (MacLeod et al. 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; Japan; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – northeast
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no abundance estimates.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Very little is known about the biology of this species (Mead et al. 1982, Heyning 1984; Mead 1989; Pitman 2002), as only a few reliable sightings at sea have been made. Aside from their distribution in the North Pacific, the specific habitat preferences of Hubbs' beaked whales are not known with any certainty. However, like other members of the genus, the species is found in deep oceanic waters (Pitman 2002).

Hubbs' beaked whales feed on squid (including the genera Gonatus, Onychoteuthis, Octopoteuthis, Histioteuthis, and Mastigoteuthis) and some deepwater fishes (Mead et al. 1982).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Whale meat products from this species occasionally appear on the Japanese market.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hubbs' beaked whale has occasionally been taken by Japanese whalers in several small cetacean fisheries. Whale meat products from this species are occasionally found for sale on the Japanese market (Dalebout et al. 2001). Incidental catches in drift gillnets occur sporadically off the coast of California.

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).

Evidence from stranded individuals of several similar species indicates that they have swallowed discarded plastic items, which may eventually lead to death (e.g. Scott et al. 2001); this species may also be at risk.

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

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed in Appendix II of CITES. Research is needed to determine the impacts of potential threatening processes on this species.

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. Mesoplodon carlhubbsi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T13243A3425482. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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