Balaenoptera musculus ssp. brevicauda


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Balaenoptera musculus ssp. brevicauda
Species Authority: Ichihara, 1966
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Pygmy Blue Whale
Taxonomic Notes: Note B. m. brevicauda Zemsky & Boronin is a nomen nudum.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 2.3
Year Published: 1996
Date Assessed: 1996-08-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Cetacean Specialist Group
Extract from Reeves et al. (2003, p. 36): "...the Pygmy Blue Whale, centered in the Sub-Antarctic Zone of the Indian Ocean between 0º and 80ºE, was listed as Data Deficient because of uncertainty about its taxonomic status and abundance. Of particular concern in this assessment was that more than 8,000 Pygmy Blue Whales had been taken illegally by Soviet whalers in the 1960s and 1970s (Clapham et al. 1999)."

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Centered in the Sub-Antarctic Zone of the Indian Ocean between 0°E and 80°E, especially around Prince Edward Island, and the islands of Crozet and Kerguelen. May also range westwards into the southeastern South Atlantic and eastwards into the Tasman Sea. A population along the coast of Chile may also be this species. The winter range is virtually unknown, with scattered records from South Africa and Australia (Rice 1998).
Australia (Tasmania, Western Australia); Canada (Prince Edward I.); French Southern Territories (Crozet Is., Kerguelen)
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.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Systems: Marine

Bibliography [top]

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Clapham, P.J., Young, S.B. and Brownell Jr., R.L. 1999. Baleen whales: conservation issues and the status of the most endangered populations. Mammal Review 29: 35–60.

Reeves, R.R., Smith, B.D., Crespo, E.A. and di Sciara, G.N. (compilers) 2003. Dolphins, Whales and Porpoises: 2002-2010 Conservation Action Plan for the World's Cetaceans. IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Rice, D.W. 1998. Marine Mammals of the World. Systematics and Distribution. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.

Citation: Cetacean Specialist Group 1996. Balaenoptera musculus ssp. brevicauda. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
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