Lagenodelphis hosei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Delphinidae

Scientific Name: Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser, 1956
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Fraser's Dolphin, Sarawak Dolphin
French Dauphin de Fraser
Spanish Delfín de Borneo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K.A., Karkzmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y. , Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B.
Reviewer(s): Rojas-Bracho, L. & Smith, B.D.
The species is widespread and abundant (with current population estimates around 300,000) and there have been no reported population declines or major threats identified.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The exact distribution of this species is poorly known. Fraser's Dolphin has a pantropical distribution, largely between 30°N and 30°S in all three major oceans (Jefferson and Leatherwood 1994, Dolar 2002). Strandings in temperate areas (Victoria in Australia, Brittany and Uruguay) may represent extralimital forays connected with temporary oceanographic anomalies such as the world-wide El Niño phenomenon in 1983–84, during which a mass stranding occurred in France (Perrin et al. 1994). Bones et al. (1998) reported on a stranding on the coast of Scotland.

The map shows where the species may occur based on oceanography. The species has not been recorded for all the states within the hypothetical range as shown on the map. States for which confirmed records of the species exist are included in the list of native range states. States within the hypothetical range but for which no confirmed records exist are included in the Presence Uncertain list.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Brunei Darussalam; Cape Verde; China; Colombia; Comoros; Cook Islands; Costa Rica; Dominica; Ecuador; French Polynesia; Ghana; Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Kiribati; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Nauru; Oman; Palau; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Puerto Rico; Réunion; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Senegal; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Spain (Canary Is.); Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; United States; Uruguay; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Viet Nam
France; United Kingdom
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – western central; Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are estimated to be about 289,300 (CV=34%) Fraser’s Dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific (Wade and Gerrodette 1993, Perrin et al. 1994), and 16,836 (CV=11%) in Hawaiian waters (Carretta et al. 2006). In the eastern Sulu Sea, Dolar et al. (2006) estimated a total abundance of 13,518 (CV=27%) Fraser’s Dolphins. About 726 (CV=70%) were estimated present in the northern Gulf of Mexico (Waring et al. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is an oceanic species that prefers deep offshore waters, but it can be seen near shore in some areas where deep water approaches the coast (such as the Philippines, Taiwan, and some islands of the Caribbean and the Indo-Malay archipelago) (Perrin et al. 1994).

In the eastern tropical Pacific, it occurs more often in Equatorial - southern subtropical surface water and other waters typified by upwelling and generally more variable conditions (Au and Perryman 1985). Off South Africa, records are associated with the warm Agulhas Current that moves south in the summer (Perrin et al. 1994).

Fraser's Dolphins feed on midwater fish (especially myctophids), squid, and crustaceans (Dolar et al. 2003). Physiological studies indicate that Fraser’s are capable of quite deep diving (and it is thought that they do most of their feeding deep in the water column – in waters up to 600 m deep), but they have been observed to feed near the surface as well (Watkins et al. 1994).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested in a few places for human food, and as bait in fisheries.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Small numbers of Fraser's Dolphins are taken regularly or opportunistically by harpoon in the Lesser Antilles, Sri Lanka, Indonesia (Kahn 2004), the Philippines, Taiwan and probably elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific (Jefferson and Leatherwood 1994). A few have been taken in drive fisheries in Taiwan and Japan (Perrin et al. 1994). Dolar et al. (1994) investigated directed fisheries for marine mammals in central and southern Visayas, northern Mindanao and Palawan, Philippines. Some of the hunters take only dolphins, for bait or human consumption and the species taken include Fraser's Dolphins. Around 800 cetaceans are taken annually by hunters at the seven sites, mostly during the inter-monsoonal period of February-May.

Some Fraser’s Dolphins are killed incidentally in the tuna purse-seine fishery in the eastern tropical Pacific (Gerrodette and Wade 1991): 26 were estimated taken during the period 1971–75. A few are also taken in gill nets in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and likely in other tropical gillnet fisheries as well. Some are killed by anti-shark nets in South Africa (Perrin et al. 1994, Cockcroft 1990). Other incidental catches in purse seines (Philippines), gillnets, driftnets (Taiwan), and trap nets (Japan) are also known (Jefferson and Leatherwood 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed in Appendix II of CITES

The Southeast Asian subpopulations are listed in Appendix II of CMS. Subpopulation structure and the impact of direct and incidental takes require further investigation.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.1. Marine Neritic - Pelagic
10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.1. Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management

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 -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Food - animal
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Au, D. W. K. and Perryman, W. L. 1985. Dolphin habitats in the eastern tropical Pacific. Fishery Bulletin 83: 623-643.

Bones, M., Neill, B. and Reid, B. 1998. Fraser's dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) stranded in South Ulst: first record in U.K. waters. Communications from the Mammal Society 77: 460-461.

Carretta, J. V., Forney, K. A., Muto, M. M., Barlow, J., Baker, J., Hanson, J. and Lowry, M. S. 2006. U.S. Pacific marine mammal stock assessments: 2005. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SWFSC-388.

Cockcroft, V. G. 1990. Dolphin catches in the Natal shark nets, 1980-1988. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 20: 44-51.

Dolar, M. L. L. 2002. Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei. In: W. F. Perrin, B. Wursig and J. G. M. Thewissen (eds), Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, pp. 485-487. Academic Press.

Dolar, M. L. L., Leatherwood, S., Wood, C. J., Alava, M. N. R., Hill, C. L. and Arangones, L. V. 1994. Directed fisheries for cetaceans in the Philippines. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 44: 439-449.

Dolar, M. L. L., Perrin, W. F., Taylor, B. L., Kooyman, G. L. and Alava, M. N. R. 2006. Abundance and distributional ecology of cetaceans in the central Philippines. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 8(1): 93-112.

Dolar, M. L. L., Walker, W. A., Kooyman, G. L. and Perrin, W. F. 2003. Comparative feeding ecology of spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) and Fraser's dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei) in the Sulu Sea. Marine Mammal Science 19(1): 1-19.

Gerrodette, T. and Wade, P. R. 1991. Monitoring trends in dolphin abundance in the eastern tropical Pacific: analysis of 1989 data. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 41: 511-515.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.2). Available at: (Accessed: 17 October 2012).

Jefferson, T. A. and Leatherwood, S. 1994. Lagenodelphis hosei. Mammalian Species 470: 1-5.

Kahn, B. 2004. Indonesia Oceanic Cetacean Program activity report: October-December 2003. Apex Environmental report to The Nature Conservancy SE Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas.

Perrin, W. F., Leatherwood, S. and Collet, A. 1994. Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser, 1956. In: S. H. Ridgway and R. Harrison (eds), Handbook of marine mammals, Volume 5: The first book of dolphins, pp. 225-240. Academic Press.

Wade, P.R. and Gerrodette, T. 1993. Estimates of cetacean abundance and distribution in the eastern tropical Pacific. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 43: 477-493.

Waring, G.T., Josephson, E., Fairfield, C.P. and Maze-Foley, K. 2006. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments - 2005. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-201. 346 p.

Watkins, W. A., Daher, M. A., Fritsrup, K. M. and Notarbartolo Di Sciara, G. 1994. Fishing and acoustic behavior of Fraser's dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) near Dominica, southeast Caribbean. Caribbean Journal of Science 30: 76-82.

Citation: Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K.A., Karkzmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y. , Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B. 2012. Lagenodelphis hosei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T11140A17807828. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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