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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Physeter macrocephalus - Sperm Whale

Range & Status

This species is found in all of the oceans of the world, except the high Arctic. Sperm Whales are widely distributed in small numbers throughout deep waters of the north Atlantic, from Iceland and Norway south to the Iberian Peninsula and east into the Mediterranean. They also occur along the shelf break north and west of the British Isles and Ireland (UK Biodiversity Group, 1999).


Five single strandings in the region in 1967 (1), 1973 (1), 1990 (1), 1992 (1), 2001 (1).


2002 (1), 2006 (1).


Listed as globally Vulnerable. (Taylor et al ., 2008f. Physeter macrocephalus . In: IUCN

2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 18 March 2009.) A UK Biodiversity Grouped Plan species.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.