[MARMAM] IUCN Red List classification for the Fiordland bottlenose dolphins

Rohan Currey rohan.currey at gmail.com
Sat Jun 25 03:07:38 PDT 2011

Dear colleagues,

This is to advise you that the IUCN has recently classified the  
Fiordland (NZ) subpopulation of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops  
truncatus) as Critically Endangered A3bcd; C1 in their 2011.1 update  
of the Red List of Threatened Species.

The full assessment is available here:

The assessment was based on the following recently published paper:
Currey, R.J.C., Dawson, S.M. and Slooten, E. 2009. An approach for  
regional threat assessment under IUCN Red List criteria that is  
robust to uncertainty: The Fiordland bottlenose dolphins are  
critically endangered. Biological Conservation,  142: 1570–1579. doi:  

Numerous globally abundant species are exposed to human impacts that  
threaten the viability of regional populations. Assessing and  
characterising the risks faced by these populations can have  
significant implications for biodiversity conservation, given the  
ecological importance of many such species. To address these risks,  
the IUCN is starting to conduct assessments of regional populations  
in addition to species-level assessments of conservation status.  
Here, we demonstrate a threat assessment process that is robust to  
uncertainty, applying the IUCN criteria to a regional population of  
bottlenose dolphins in Fiordland, New Zealand. We compiled available  
population-specific information to assess the population under the  
five Red List criteria. We estimated there were 205 Fiordland  
bottlenose dolphins (CV = 3.5%), using current estimates of abundance  
for two sub-populations and stochastic modelling of an earlier  
estimate for the third sub-population. Population trajectory and  
extinction risk were assessed using stochastic age-structured Leslie  
matrix population models. The majority of model runs met the criteria  
for classification as critically endangered (C1: 67.6% of runs) given  
the number of mature individuals (123; CV = 6.7%) and the predicted  
rate of population decline (average decline: 31.4% over one  
generation). The evidence of isolation of the population confirms  
this was an appropriate regional classification. This approach  
provided an assessment that was robust to uncertainty.

A PDF copy of the paper is available here:

Alternatively, send requests to:
rohan.currey at gmail.com


Dr Rohan Currey
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