Haploblepharus kistnasamyi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Haploblepharus kistnasamyi Human & Compagno, 2006
Taxonomic Notes: Previously considered a "Natal" form of Haploblepharus edwardsii (Schinz, 1822) by Bass et al. (1975) and subsequent authors, H. kistnasamyi has a colour pattern that superficially resembles, although is distinct from, that of H. edwardsii. In addition, H. kistnasamyi is distinct in having a noticeably less depressed body, which is stockier than that of H. edwardsii. This species has only been described recently (Compagno and Human 2006, Human 2006 in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Human, B.
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S.L. & Valenti, S.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
Haploblepharus kistnasamyi is a rare shark, known only from three adult specimens (specimens tentatively identified as juveniles require confirmation), all collected from a small area, estimated to be less than 100 km², surrounding Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. It prefers shallow coastal waters, from the intertidal to 30 m depth. The apparently small population size and restricted distribution of this species makes it highly susceptible to habitat degradation, which is a major threat as intensive habitat modification and destruction is known to be occurring within its range. The species currently is known from only one location (despite adjacent waters being well-surveyed), its extent of occurrence is less than 100 km², and there is a continuing decline in the quality of its habitat, warranting an assessment of Critically Endangered B1ab(iii).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Haploblepharus kistnasamyi occurs in the western Indian Ocean. It is a rare South African endemic with a very restricted range; adults are known only from northern KwaZulu-Natal. The species' extent of occurrence is estimated at less than 100 km².

Individuals tentatively assigned as the juveniles of H. kistnasamyi occur in the Eastern Cape to west of Mossel Bay, Western Cape, (inshore, usually close to the coastline) (Human and Compagno 2006, Human 2006). These juvenile records require verification and therefore they have been excluded from this assessment.

Specimens have not been obtained from elsewhere, despite trawl surveys conducted between the Western and Eastern Capes (Wallace et al. 1984, Buxton et al. 1984).
Countries occurrence:
South Africa
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower depth limit (metres):30
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size of this rare shark is unknown, but apparently it is small as it is known only from three adults. This species is probably represented by a single population (Human and Compagno 2006, Human 2006).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This shark occurs inshore, usually close to the coastline. Its preferred habitat appears to be rocky and coral reefs, and sandy habitats, with a depth range from intertidal to 30 m depth (Human and Compagno 2006, Human 2006).

The life history of H. kistnasamyi is virtually unknown as most of the biological data available for this species is referable to Haploblepharus edwardsii. Males are juvenile at 31.5-35.4 cm total length (TL), and mature at 50.4 cm TL. Females are embryonic at 5.85-10.4 cm TL, juvenile at 10.6-40.1 cm TL, adolescent at 41.5 cm TL, and mature at 481 cm TL (Human and Compagno 2006, Human 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): With its restricted, inshore range and apparently small population size, the main threat to H. kistnasamyi is habitat degradation (Human and Compagno 2006, Human 2006). Intensive habitat modification and destruction is known to be occurring within its known range, particularly around Durban, which has a rapidly expanding heavy industry sector, and is also expanding its tourist industry. This expansion includes increased industrial waste output and pollution, and land development for tourist resorts and attractions. The area around Durban is also under intensive fishing pressure from a number of fishing industries, most notably, the prawn fishing industry.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are in place for H. kistnasamyi. Habitat monitoring should be considered a priority, as habitat degradation is occurring within its known range. Environmental impact assessments need to be made for expansion of various industries around Durban.

Citation: Human, B. 2009. Haploblepharus kistnasamyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161667A5476391. . Downloaded on 21 February 2018.
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