Aulohalaelurus kanakorum 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Carcharhiniformes Scyliorhinidae

Scientific Name: Aulohalaelurus kanakorum
Species Authority: Séret, 1990
Common Name(s):
English New Caledonia Catshark

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Fowler, S.L. & Lisney, T.J. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)
Reviewer(s): Stevens, J., Seret, B., Fowler, S. & Musick, J.A. (Shark Red List Authority)
This species is known from only one specimen and two photographs within an area that is well surveyed for its fish fauna. It is very likely a New Caledonian endemic and uncommon within its range. It is presumed, like similar taxa, to be a benthic species and a weak swimmer, restricted to a narrow depth band of moderately deep external coral reef habitat, hence having a small extent of occurrence. This restricted range and fragile nature of the coral reef habitat makes the species vulnerable to depletion through bycatch in mixed species fisheries and to habitat deterioration and loss as a result of run off from mining operations and coral reef bleaching.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The holotype (and only known specimen) was collected from the coral bottom in the pass of an islet on the external coral reef of a south-western New Caledonian lagoon. There are also underwater photographs of two specimens. The fish fauna of New Caledonia has been well surveyed, suggesting that this species is rare. It is, however, presumably present at similar depths and in similar habitat elsewhere around the island.

New Caledonia has approximately 8,000 km² of coral reef habitat surrounding a lagoon of 24,000 km². Much of this habitat is significantly shallower than the type locality, implying that the total extent of occurrence of this species around the island will be less than 20,000 km², even if the species is very widespread (which appears not to be the case).
Countries occurrence:
New Caledonia
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – western central
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Inshore on an external coral reef at a depth of 49 m. Catsharks are generally weak swimmers and do not migrate large distances. They mostly feed on invertebrates and small fishes.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This small (79 cm), attractively patterned catshark is likely to be taken as bycatch in mixed-species, artisanal fisheries and to be susceptible to habitat deterioration and loss. New Caledonian coral reefs are in generally good condition, but large areas (particularly in the east) are affected by run-off arising from nickel mining operations and resultant deforestation, erosion and water pollution. The problem is exacerbated by destruction of mangroves. The incidence of coral reef bleaching is also rising in the region (ReefBase).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are currently no conservation measures in place for this species.

Classifications [top]

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing    

9. Pollution -> 9.2. Industrial & military effluents -> 9.2.2. Seepage from mining
♦ timing: Ongoing    

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.2. Soil erosion, sedimentation
♦ timing: Ongoing    

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing: Ongoing    

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]

Compagno, L.J.V. In prep. b. Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the shark species known to date. Volume 3. (Carcharhiniformes). FAO Species Catalogue for Fisheries Purposes No. 1, Vol.3. FAO, Rome.

IUCN. 2003. 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 November 2003.

IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at:

Citation: Fowler, S.L. & Lisney, T.J. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003). 2003. Aulohalaelurus kanakorum. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T41870A10581635. . Downloaded on 02 December 2015.
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