[MARMAM] IUCN status for the sperm whale

Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara disciara at gmail.com
Mon Jun 17 10:01:54 PDT 2013

I would like to reply to my colleague Gianni Pavan concerning his query (below). I am doing it through MARMAM (although I have also written to him, wondering why did he not ask me directly), because I hope with this to dispel potential misunderstandings that his question might create within the wider community.

First, the Red List assessment of the Mediterranean sperm whale sub-population is online 


for everyone to read and ponder about. The assessment was authored by A. Frantzis, G. Bearzi, R. Reeves, and me as the first author, with contributions from Ana Tejedor, C. Agusti, S. Airoldi, S. Panigada, R. de Stephanis, and D. Engelhaupt.

In particular concerning the estimated size of such sub-population, nowhere in the assessment it is stated that it is of 2,500 animals. Rather, the argument was that, on the basis of a number of elements mentioned and quoted in the assessment (e.g., in Section "Population size"), we suggested that the sub-population contained fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, the limit under which a sub-population can be included in the Red List as Endangered under the A criterion. 


Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara
disciara at tethys.org

Il giorno 16/giu/2013, alle ore 21:00, marmam-request at lists.uvic.ca ha scritto:

> Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 11:02:14 +0200
> From: Gianni Pavan <gianni.pavan at unipv.it>
> To: MARMAM at lists.uvic.ca
> Subject: [MARMAM] IUCN status for the sperm whale
> Message-ID:
> 	<CAC0_uZ0YvhuzpKq_rG=TzUvVO98CWs+GRpr=SQOrWnqOp6yg0w at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Hi all,
>    recently IUCN set the status of Mediterranean sperm whales as
> "Endangered" and not anymore "data deficient". The given (sub)population
> estimate is 2500 animals.
> To better address our research based on the acoustic detections with
> underwater platforms I'm willing to know on which studies this estimate has
> been made. Any information will be appreciated.
> Gianni Pavan
> -- 
> Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali
> Universit? degli Studi di Pavia
> Via Taramelli 24, 27100 Pavia
> http://www.unipv.it/cibra
> http://mammiferimarini.unipv.it
> http://web2.infn.it/smo/index.php
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