Hyperoodon planifrons 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Ziphiidae

Scientific Name: Hyperoodon planifrons
Species Authority: 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.

Classifications [top]

10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.1. Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m)
10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.2. Marine Oceanic - Mesopelagic (200-1000m)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.3. Marine Oceanic - Bathypelagic (1000-4000m)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.2. Problematic native species
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.6. Excess energy -> 9.6.3. Noise pollution
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Balcomb, K. C. and Claridge, D. E. 2001. A mass stranding of cetaceans caused by naval sonar in the Bahamas. Bahamas Journal of Science 8(2): 2-12.

Barlow, J. 1999. Trackline detection probability for long-diving whales. In: G. W. Garner, S. C. Amstrup, J. L. Laake, B. J. F. Manley, L. L. McDonald and D. G. Robertson (eds), Marine mammal survey and assessment methods, pp. 209-221. Balkema Press, Netherlands.

Cockcroft, V. G., Peddemors, V. M., Ryan, P. G. and Lutjeharms, J. R. E. 1990. Cetacean sightings in the Agulhas Retroflection, Agulhas Rings, and Subtropical Convergence. South African Journal of Antarctic Research 20: 64-67.

Cox, T. M., Ragen, T. J., Read, A. J., Vos, E., Baird, R. W., Balcomb, K., Barlow, J., Caldwell, J., Cranford, T., Crum, L., D'Amico, A., D'Spain, A., Fernández, J., Finneran, J., Gentry, R., Gerth, W., Gulland, F., Hildebrand, J., Houser, D., Hullar, T., Jepson, P. D., Ketten, D., Macleod, C. D., Miller, P., Moore, S., Mountain, D., Palka, D., Ponganis, P., Rommel, S., Rowles, T., Taylor, B., Tyack, P., Wartzok, D., Gisiner, R., Mead, J. and Benner, L. 2006. Understanding the impacts of anthropogenic sound on beaked whales. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 7(3): 177-187.

Croxall, J. P. and Nicol, S. 2004. Management of Southern Ocean fisheries: global forces and future sustainability. Antarctic Science 16(4): 569-584.

Dalebout, M. L., Ross, G. J. B., Baker, C. S., Anderson, R. C., Best, P. B., Cockcroft, V. G., Hinsz, H. L., Peddemors, V. M. and Pitman, R. L. 2003. Appearance, distribution and genetic distinctiveness of Longman's beaked whale, Indopacetus pacificus. Marine Mammal Science 19(3): 421-461.

Dixon, J. M., Frigo, L. and Moyle, R. L. C. 1994. New information on the southern bottlenose whale, Hyperoodon planifrons (Cetacea: Ziphiidae), from a recent stranding in Victoria, Australia. Australian Mammalogy 17: 85-95.

Fernández, A., Edwards, J. F., Rodriguez, F., Espinosa, A., De Los Monteros, Herraez, P., Castro, P., Jaber, J. R., Martin, V. and Arebelo, M. 2005. "Gas and fat embolic syndrome" involving a mass stranding of beaked whales (family Ziphiidae) exposed to anthropogenic sonar signals. Veterinary Pathology 42: 446-457.

Jefferson, T. A., Leatherwood, S. and Webber, M. A. 1993. Marine Mammals of the World: FAO Species Identification Guide. United Nation Environment Programme and Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN.

Jepson, P. D., Arebelo, M., Deaville, R., Patterson, I. A. P., Castro, P., Baker, J. R., Degollada, E., Ross, H. M., Herraez, P., Pocknell, A. M., Rodriguez, F., Howie, F. E., Espinosa, A., Reid, R. J., Jaber, J. R., Martin, V., Cunningham, A. A. and Fernandez, A. 2003. Gas-bubble lesions in stranded cetaceans. Nature 425: 575-576.

Kasamatsu, F. and Joyce, G. G. 1995. Current status of odontocetes in the Antarctic. Antarctic Science 7: 365-379.

Learmonth, J.A., Macleod, C.D., Santos, M.B., Pierce, G.J., Crick, H.Q.P. and Robinson, R.A. 2006. Potential effects of climate change on marine mammals. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 44: 431-464.

Malakoff, D. 2002. Suit ties whale deaths to research cruise. Science 298: 722-723.

Mead, J. G. 1989. Bottlenose whales Hyperoodon ampullatus,/i> (Forster, 1770) and Hyperoodon planifrons Flower, 1882. In: S. H. Ridgway and R. Harrison (eds), Handbook of marine mammals, Vol. 4: River dolphins and the larger toothed whales, pp. 321-348. Academic Press.

Pitman, R. L., Palacios, D. M., Brennan, P. L. R., Brennan, B. J., Balcomb III, K. C. and Miyashita, T. 1999. Sightings and possible identity of a bottlenose whale in the tropical Indo-Pacific: Indopacetus pacificus. Marine Mammal Science 15(2): 531-549.

Wang, J. Y. and Yang, S. C. 2006. Unusual cetacean stranding events of Taiwan in 2004 and 2005. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 8: 283-292.

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. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T10708A3208830. . Downloaded on 27 August 2016.
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