Long-snouted spinner dolphin - removal from threatened species list
NSW Scientific Committee - final determination
The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to remove the Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin, Stenella longirostris (Gray 1828), from the Schedules of the Act by omitting reference to this species from Schedule 2 (Vulnerable species). The omission of species from the Schedules is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.
The Scientific Committee has found that:
1. The Spinner Dolphin, Stenella longirostris, is currently listed as a Vulnerable Species on Schedule 2 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act. All marine mammals in NSW waters are protected by the special provisions of Section 112 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act which prohibits unauthorised approach and harm.
2. The Spinner Dolphin occurs in all oceans around the world between latitudes 40°N and 40°S, and is most abundant in the tropical parts of its range (Perrin and Gilpatrick 1994; Perrin 1998). In Australia, the species has been recorded from Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) (Bannister et al. 1996).
3. At the time of listing, the Spinner Dolphin was believed to regularly visit NSW waters. The Scientific Committee has found that the species occurs in NSW only as a rare vagrant. There have been only six records of the species in NSW, all of which were strandings between Byron Bay and Urunga in 1984, 1989 and four in 1991 (Smith 2001).
4. The Scientific Committee has formed the opinion that NSW waters do not provide suitable habitat, nor have provided habitat in the past for the Spinner Dolphin. As a rare vagrant to NSW waters, no threatening processes have been identified that will cause the species to become endangered and therefore it is not eligible for listing under the Threatened Species Conservation Act.
5. In view of the above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin, Stenella longirostris (Gray 1828) is no longer eligible to be listed as a vulnerable species in Schedule 2 of the Act.
Proposed Gazettal date: 12/07/02
Exhibition period: 12/07/02 - 16/08/02
Bannister, J.L., Kemper, C.M. and Warneke, R.M. (1996). 'The Action Plan for Australian Cetaceans.' (Australian Nature Conservancy: Canberra.)
Perrin, W.F. (1998). Stenella longirostris. Mammalian Species No. 599.
Perrin, W.F. and Gilpatrick, J.W., Jr (1994). Spinner dolphin Stenella longirostris (Gray 1828). In 'Handbook of Marine Mammals, Volume 5, the First Book of Dolphins'. (Eds S.H. Ridgway and R. Harrison.) pp. 99-128. (Academic Press: London.)
Smith, P. (2001). Review of the conservation status of marine mammals in New South Wales. Report to the NSW Scientific Committee.
About the NSW Scientific Committee
Page last updated: 28 February 2011