Habitat use and movement patterns of bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas determined using pop-up satellite archival tags

Carlson, J.K., Ribera, M.M., Conrath, C.L., Heupel, M.R., and Burgess, G.H. (2010) Habitat use and movement patterns of bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas determined using pop-up satellite archival tags. Journal of Fish Biology, 77 (3). pp. 661-675.

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Habitat use, movement and residency of bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas were determined using satellite pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags throughout coastal areas in the U.S., Gulf of Mexico and waters off the south-east U.S. From 2005 to 2007, 18 fish (mean size = 164 cm fork length, LF) were tagged over all seasons. Fish retained tags for up to 85 days (median = 30 days). Based on geolocation data from initial tagging location to pop-off location, C. leucas generally travelled c. 5–6 km day−1 and travelled an average of 143·6 km. Overall, mean proportions of time at depth revealed C. leucas spent the majority of their time in waters <20 m. They exhibited significant differences among depths but were not found at a particular depth regardless of diurnal period. Most fish occupied temperatures c. 32 ◦C with individuals found mostly between 26 and 33◦C. Geolocation data for C. leucas were generally poor and varied considerably but tracks for two individuals revealed long distance movements. One fish travelled from the south-east coast of the U.S. to coastal Texas near Galveston while another moved up the east coast of the U.S. to South Carolina. Data on C. leucas movements indicated that they are found primarily in shallower waters and tend to remain in the same location over long periods. While some individuals made large-scale movements over open ocean areas, the results emphasize the importance of the coastal zone for this species as potential essential habitat, particularly in areas of high freshwater inflow.

Item ID: 15926
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8649
Keywords: Key words: geolocation; habitat utilization; residency
Date Deposited: 07 May 2011 04:46
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
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