Assessment of the conservation status of a franciscana (<i>Pontoporia blainvillei</i>) stock in the Franciscana Management Area III following the IUCN Red List Process


  • E. R. Secchi
  • J. Y. Wang



The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most widely followed and comprehensive inventory of the conservation status of species. Recently, the Red List programme changed in several ways including, revisions to the criteria for determining species' statuses and the development of a process for challenging statuses. In the 2000 Red List, the franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) was listed as 'Data Deficient', which indicates that data were insufficient to determine the status of the species under the Red List criteria but the species may be deemed to belong to a category of threat once adequate data for assessment are available. Because franciscana is possibly the cetacean species most impacted by anthropogenic activities, especially by incidental catches in gillnet fisheries in the western South Atlantic and because much data has accumulated over the last 15 years, all participants in the 4th Workshop for the Co-ordination of Research and Conservation of Franciscana in the Western South Atlantic (Porto Alegre, Brazil, 5-9 November, 2000) recommended that a reassessment of the species be performed as soon as possible. But due to the lack of the required information (from most regions) for assessment, the status of the species remains as 'Data Deficient'. However, in this paper, we assessed the conservation status of one franciscana stock inhabiting waters off Rio Grande do Sul State, southern Brazil and Uruguay (Franciscana Management Area III - FMA III). The available information for FMA III resulted in this stock being classified as 'Endangered' under sub-criterias 1d and 2d of criterion A (EN A1d+2d). The intention is to provide a case study (using the best known stock) to demonstrate the types of information and documentation required for a Red List assessment following the current criteria.