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Mesoplodon traversii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CETARTIODACTYLA ZIPHIIDAE

Scientific Name: Mesoplodon traversii
Species Authority: (Gray, 1874)
Common Name/s:
English Spade-toothed Whale, Traver's Beaked Whale, Bahamondi's Beaked Whale
French Mésoplodon De Bahamonde, Mésoplodon De Travers
Spanish Zifio De Bahamonde, Zifio De Travers
Synonym/s:
Mesoplodon bahamondi Reyes, Van Waerebeek, Cardenas & Yáñez, 1996
Taxonomic Notes: In 1996, a new species of beaked whale was described as Mesoplodon bahamondi (Reyes et al. 1996). However, further study showed that it was actually the same as a previously-described beaked whale that had long been considered synonymous with the Strap-toothed Beaked Whale (M. layardii). As the senior synonym, Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874) was found to be the proper scientific name of the species (van Helden et al. 2002).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient 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)
Justification:
There is no information on abundance or trends in global abundance for this species. As a relatively uncommon species it is potentially vulnerable to low-level threats and a 30% global reduction over three generations cannot be ruled out (criterion A).
History:
2003 Not Evaluated (IUCN 2003)
2003 Not Evaluated

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The three specimens so far examined have come from New Zealand (White Island and the Chatham Islands [Pitt Island]), and Chile (Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago). Therefore, this is probably a southern Hemisphere (possibly circum-Antarctic) species. However, it may be much more widely-distributed, and until more records are available, this will remain unknown (van Helden et al. 2002).
Countries:
Native:
Chile (Juan Fernández Is.); New Zealand (Chatham Is., North Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – southeast; Pacific – southwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information on abundance of this species. However, it is probable that it is relatively rare, given the small number of records of its occurrence so far discovered.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Nothing is known of the habitat of this species. Nothing is known of the diet, but it is assumed that squid are the main prey.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Direct hunting has never been associated with this species. Entanglement in fishing gear, especially gillnets is probably the most significant threat.

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).

As a species potentially limited to temperate waters, the spade-toothed whale may be vulnerable to the effects of climate change as ocean warming may result in a shift or contraction of the species range as it tracks the occurrence of its preferred water temperatures (Learmonth et al. 2006). The effect of such changes in range size or position on this species is unknown.

Evidence from stranded individuals of several similar species indicates that they have swallowed discarded plastic items, which may eventually lead to death (e.g. Scott et al. 2001); this species may also be at risk.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed in Appendix II of CITES. Research is needed to determine the impacts of potential threatening processes on this species.

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.

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.

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.

Gomercic, H., Gomercic, M. D., Gomericic, T., Lucic, H., Dalebout, M., Galov, A., Skrtic, D., Curkovic, S., Vukovic, S. and Huber, D. 2006. Biological aspects of Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) recorded in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea. European Journal of Wildlife Research 52(3): 182-187.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

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.

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.

Macleod, C. D., Perrin, W. F., Pitman, R. L., Barlow, J., Balance, L., D'amico, A., Gerrodette, T., Joyce, G., Mullin, K. D., Palka, D. L. and Waring, G. T. 2006. Known and inferred distributions of beaked whale species (Ziphiidae: Cetacea). Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 7(3): 271-286.

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

Mead, J. G. 1989. Beaked whales of the genus Mesoplodon. In: S. H. Ridgway and R. Harrison (eds), Handbook of marine mammals, Vol. 4: River dolphins and the larger toothed whales, pp. 349-430. Academic Press.

Reyes, J., Van Waerebeek, K., Cardenas, J. C. and Yanez, J. L. 1996. Mesoplodon bahamondi sp. n. (Cetacea, Ziphiidae), a new living beaked whale from the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile. Boletin de Museum Nacional de History Natural, Chile 45: 31-44.

Scott, M. D., Hohn, A. A., Westgate, A. J., Nicolas, J. R., Whitaker, B. R. and Campbell, W. B. 2001. A note on the release and tracking of a rehabilitated pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps). Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 3(1): 87-94.

Van Helden, A. L., Baker, A. N., Dalebout, M. L., Reyes, J. C., Van Waerebeek, K. and Baker, C. S. 2002. Resurrection of Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874), senior synonym of M. bahamondi Reyes, Van Waerebeek, Cardenas and Yanez, 1995 (Cetacea: Ziphiidae). Marine Mammal Science 18(3): 609-621.

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. Mesoplodon traversii. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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