Fiordland bottlenose dolphin population redlisted as Critically Endangered

The Fiordland subpopulation of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabits the fiords and bays of Fiordland, a mountainous, rainforest-covered World Heritage Area in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island.  These dolphins are at the southern limit of the species’ global range and recent studies have shown them to be genetically and geographically isolated from bottlenose dolphins elsewhere in New Zealand.

The subpopulation was estimated to consist of only205 individuals in 2008, of which 123 were mature. In a Population Viability Analysis, more than two thirds of the model runs predicted a decline of > 25% over one generation and more than a third predicted a decline of > 80% over three generations.  As a result, the Fiordland Bottlenose Dolphin subpopulation was assessed as Critically Endangered (A3bcd;C1).  For the full assessment, which was completed in 2010, see http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/194300/0

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