Ontogenetic movements of juvenile blacktip reef sharks: evidence of dispersal and connectivity between coastal habitats and coral reefs

Chin, A., Heupel, M.R., Simpfendorfer, C.A., and Tobin, A.J. (2013) Ontogenetic movements of juvenile blacktip reef sharks: evidence of dispersal and connectivity between coastal habitats and coral reefs. Aquatic Conservation, 23 (3). pp. 468-474.

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Abstract

1. Connectivity between coastal habitats and mid-shelf and offshore coral reefs is a topical issue in the conservation and management of fishes and coastal ecosystems.

2. Coastal habitats provide a range of ecosystem functions for sharks and rays and the use of coastal ecosystems by these species affects conservation and management outcomes. There is a growing need to better understand movement and habitat use patterns given recorded declines of many shark and ray species around the world.

3. This study presents evidence of connectivity of blacktip reef sharks between coastal and offshore habitats, with juveniles dispersing from natal grounds at the onset of maturity and moving to new locations including offshore coral reefs.

4. These dispersal patterns differ from previous accounts of reef shark movements and provide new evidence of connectivity among coastal habitats and offshore coral reefs.

5. These large-scale movements may help to maintain genetic diversity of populations, and could increase the resilience of blacktip reef shark populations to localized pressures. These movement and connectivity patterns also illustrate the potential importance of coastal habitats to reef shark conservation.

Item ID: 28726
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1099-0755
Keywords: mangrove, seagrass, coral, dispersal, behaviour, fish, fishing
Funders: Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility, James Cook University, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)
Projects and Grants: MTSRF 4.8.4s
Research Data: http://e-atlas.org.au/
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2013 05:28
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 60%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 20%
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