About Pondicherry shark

About Pondicherry shark

  • Known as ‘Pala Sora’ in the local parlance, the Pondicherry Shark is on the verge of extinction.
  • Scientifically known as Carcharhinus hemiodon, it belongs to the Carcharhinidae family with a growth of 3.3 feet.
  • It is identified by its black tips of dorsal, pectoral and Tai fins. The front teeth are distinctly serrated at the base and smooth at the tip.
  • The Pondicherry shark was once found throughout Indo-Pacific coastal waters from the Gulf of Oman to New Guinea, and is known to enter fresh water.
  • Until now, the only known sightings of this species since the 1980s are in rivers in Sri Lanka.
  • Fewer than 20 specimens are available for study, and most aspects of its natural history are unknown.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the Pondicherry shark as Critically Endangered.
  • It is probably threatened by intense and escalating fishing pressure throughout its range.
  • The shark is among the 25 “most wanted lost” species that are the focus of Global Wildlife Conservation’s “Search for Lost Species” initiative


IUCN Red List or Red Data List or Red Book

  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species.
  • When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term “threatened” is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.


When is a species considered as critically endangered?

  • Critically endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List to wild species.
  • There are five quantitative criteria to determine whether a taxon is threatened.
  • A taxon is critically endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of the following criteria:
  1. Populations have declined or will decrease, by greater than 80% over the last 10 years or three generations.
  2. Have a restricted geographical range.
  3. Small population size of less than 250 individuals and continuing decline at 25% in 3 years or one generation.
  4. Very small or restricted population of fewer than 50 mature individuals.
  5. High probability of extinction in the wild.


Section : Environment & Ecology