Spatial ecology of shark-like batoids in a large coastal embayment

White, J., Simpfendorfer, C.A., Tobin, A.J., and Heupel, M.R. (2014) Spatial ecology of shark-like batoids in a large coastal embayment. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 97 (7). pp. 773-786.

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Understanding how spatial ecology varies between life stages, and whether there is an overlap of critical areas (e.g., nursery areas, breeding sites), may provide significant benefits to conservation planning. The present work examined the space use and residency of shark-like batoids (families Rhynchobatidae and Rhinobatidae) in a nearshore system. An array of 63 acoustic receivers deployed in Cleveland Bay, north Queensland, Australia, passively tracked 15 G. typus and 20 Rhynchobatus spp. between 2009 and 2011. Glaucostegus typus were monitored between 1 and 766 days (mean = 333 +/- 69 days) and were present in the site from 1 to 198 days (mean 73 +/- 25 days). Both adult male and female G. typus exhibited philopatric behaviour patterns, leaving the bay and returning after periods of about 9-12 months to use the same areas where they were detected in previous years. Individuals with lower residency had larger activity spaces. Rhynchobatus spp. were monitored for 1 to 707 days (mean = 231 +/- 50 days) and were present in the site from 1 to 350 days (mean 82 +/- 24 days). Rhynchobatus spp. exhibited no synchronicity in use of the bay. Both G. typus male and female residency changed with size of individuals, in comparison size had no effect on the residency of Rhynchobatus spp. The present study improves our understanding of shark-like batoid spatial ecology in nearshore waters and may provide useful information for the management of these populations.

Item ID: 34108
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5133
Keywords: Rhynchobatus, Glaucostegus typus, activity space, residency, philopatry, acoustic monitoring
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation, James Cook University
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2014 09:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 60%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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