Sousa chinensis 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Delphinidae

Scientific Name: Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Indo-pacific Hump-backed Dolphin, Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin, Chinese White Dolphin, Indo-pacific Humpback Dolphin
French Dauphin À Bosse De L'Indo-pacifique
Spanish Bufeo Asiático, Bufeo Asiático, Delfín Blanco De China, Delfín Blanco De China, Delfin jorobado del Indo-Pacifico
Sousa borneensis (Lydekker, 1901)
Taxonomic Notes: Currently, all Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are considered to be part of a single widespread and highly-variable species, Sousa chinensis. Some biologists consider humpback dolphins in the Indo-Pacific to consist of two species: Sousa plumbea in the western Indian Ocean, from South Africa to at least the east coast of India, and Sousa chinensis from the east coast of India to China and Australia. These two geographic forms differ strongly in morphology and apparently in many ecological characters (see Jefferson and Van Waerebeek 2004 for a partial summary). Morphometric and genetic studies currently underway may resolve this controversy in the near future, but there is growing evidence that at least these two putative species, and possibly others, may be valid (see Rice 1998, Jefferson and Karczmarski 2001).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Not Applicable (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-01-26
Assessor(s): Species account by IUCN SSC Cetacean Specialist Group; regional assessment by European Mammal Assessment team
Reviewer(s): Philip Hammond
This species is assessed as Not Applicable as there is only a single record in the European Mammal Assessment region.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins of the chinensis-type are found in shallow, coastal waters from both east and west coasts of northern Australia and southern China in the east, through the Indo-Malay Archipelago, and westward around the coastal rim of the Bay of Bengal to at least the Orissa coast of west India (Ross et al. 1994, Jefferson and Karczmarski 2001, Sutaria and Jefferson 2004). The plumbea-type is found in narrow strip of coastal waters from southwest tip of South Africa eastward around the rim of the Indian Ocean to the southeast cost of India (Jefferson and Karczmarski 2001, Ross 2002, IWC 2003). It occurs off Madagascar, Mayotte and the Comoro Islands, in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. There is an extralimital record for Israel, in the Mediterranean Sea (an apparent stray that moved through the Suez Canal from the Red Sea: Kerem et al. 2001).
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There has only been a single sighting of this species in the European Mammal Assessment area (Kerem et al. 2001).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Humpback dolphins occurs in tropical to warm temperate coastal waters, including open coasts and bays, coastal lagoons, rocky and/or coral reefs, mangrove swamp and estuarine areas (Ross et at. 1994, Jefferson and Karczmarski 2001, Ross 2002); rarely more than a few kilometers from shore. They sometimes enter rivers, but rarely move more than a few kilometers upstream and usually within the tidal range. Their distribution appears to be limited to waters of the continental shelf, and the only places where they range far offshore are those in which the water is shallow (<100m). They appear to be opportunistic feeders, feeding on a wide variety of nearshore, estuarine, and reef fish. They also eat cephalopods in some areas, but crustaceans are rare in the diet (Jefferson and Karczmarski 2001, Ross 2002).
Systems:Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The majority of humpback dolphins inhabit coastal or estuarine waters of developing nations, countries with limited resources and means for environmental protection. Habitat degradation and habitat loss, and incidental mortality in fishing gear represent the greatest threats to this species (Ross et al. 1994, Jefferson and Karczmarski 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a vagrant in the European Mammal Assessment region, so there are no conservation measures for the species in this area.

Citation: Species account by IUCN SSC Cetacean Specialist Group; regional assessment by European Mammal Assessment team. 2007. Sousa chinensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T20424A9197596. . Downloaded on 20 November 2017.
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