2017 Cetacean Red List Update
Assessments or reassessments of 19 cetacean species, subspecies and populations were published on the IUCN Red List in 2017. These included all four species of humpback dolphin, the Irrawaddy dolphin, two species of finless porpoise, the South Asian River dolphin, the beluga, the narwhal, and the vaquita among others (see Table 1 for details). A new “taxon,” the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale, was listed as Critically Endangered (CR). The Atlantic humpback dolphin was uplisted to CR, and the baiji, vaquita and Taiwanese humpback dolphin (formerly considered a subpopulation, recently described as a subspecies) were all reconfirmed as CR (the baiji again being tagged as “possibly extinct”). The South Asian River dolphin, Irrawaddy dolphin, narrow-ridged finless porpoise, and Indian Ocean humpback dolphin were all listed as Endangered (EN), while the franciscana, Australian humpback dolphin, Australian snubfin dolphin, Indo-Pacific finless porpoise, and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin were all listed as Vulnerable (VU).
Summary of reassessments or new assessments published in the 2017-3 (December)* Red List update. (NT = Near Threatened; DD = Data Deficient)* published in September edition of the 2017 Red List
|#||Species||Common name||Population||Category||Status change|
|1||Balaenoptera edeni||Brydes whale||Balaenoptera edeni (Gulf of Mexico subpopulation)||CR||New listing|
|2||Cephalorhynchus commersonii||Commersons dolphin||LC||Changed to LC from DD|
|3||Cephalorhynchus eutropia||Chilean dolphin||NT||Unchanged|
|4||Delphinapterus leucas||Beluga||LC||Changed to LC from NT|
|5||Lipotes vexillifer||Baiji (Yangtze River dolphin)||CR (possibly extinct)||Unchanged|
|6||Monodon monoceros||Narwhal||LC||Changed to LC from NT|
|7||Neophocaena asiaeorientalis||Narrow-ridged finless porpoise||EN||Changed to EN from VU|
|8||Neophocaena phocaenoides||Indo-Pacific finless porpoise||VU||Unchanged|
|9||Orcaella brevirostris||Irrawaddy dolphin||EN||Changed to EN from VU|
|10||Orcaella heinsohni||Australian snub-fin dolphin||VU||Changed to VU from NT|
|11||Orcinus orca||Killer whale||DD||Unchanged|
|13||Platanista gangetica||South Asian River dolphin||EN||Unchangd|
|15||Sousa chinensis||Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin||VU||New assessment of species redefined in relation to newly recognized congeners changed to VU from NT|
|16||Sousa chinensis||Sousa chinensis taiwanensis (subspecies)||CR||New assessment of subpopulation recently recognized as a subspecies - status unchanged|
|17||Sousa plumbea||Indian Ocean humpback dolphin||EN||New listing|
|18||Sousa sahulensis||Australian humpback dolphin||VU||New listing|
|19||Sousa teuszii||Atlantic humpback dolphin||CR||Changed to CR from VU|
All 89 cetacean species and an additional 39 subspecies or subpopulations have been assessed and their status and documentation can be found on the IUCN Red List website (redlist.org). Of the 89 species, 22% are assigned to a threatened category (i.e. CR, EN, VU, NT) and almost 50% are considered DD (see Table 2).
Table 2. Summary information on Red List status as of December 2017.
|Lower Risk/Conservation Dependent*||0||2||2|
*This category is no longer recognized; therefore these assessments are out of date.