Habitat and space use of an abundant nearshore shark, Rhizoprionodon taylori

Munroe, S.E.M., Simpfendorfer, C.A., and Heupel, M.R. (2014) Habitat and space use of an abundant nearshore shark, Rhizoprionodon taylori. Marine and Freshwater Research, 65 (11). pp. 959-968.

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Abstract

Shark resource-use strategies affect how they will respond to changes within their environment and, as such, may be important to consider in conservation and management. Movement data on sharks that use nearshore areas is particularly valuable because these habitats are highly dynamic. The present study used passive acoustic telemetry to examine the space-use, habitat-selection and habitat-specialisation patterns of the Australian sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon taylori, in a nearshore area. Habitat selectivity and specialisation were assessed across five benthic habitat types, including outer bay, seagrass, reef, sandy inshore and intertidal mudflats. The majority of R. taylori sharks were present for short periods of time, ranging from 1 to 112 days (mean ± s.e. = 16.9 ± 4.9). Activity-space analysis indicated that R. taylori roamed widely, but monthly activity-space size was consistent among individuals and through time. Both the population and individuals displayed wide habitat niches, indicating that the species may be resilient to environmental change. However, R. taylori consistently selected for seagrass over other habitats, potentially for feeding. Therefore, declines in seagrass availability may reduce R. taylori presence in nearshore areas and may be relevant to spatial management of this species.

Item ID: 37792
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: kernel-utilisation distributions, residency, small-bodied sharks
Funders: National Environmental Research Project, AIMS@JCU, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 00:59
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 30%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 30%
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