Variation in blacktip shark movement patterns in a tropical coastal bay

Munroe, S.E.M., Simpfendorfer, C.A., and Heupel, M.R. (2016) Variation in blacktip shark movement patterns in a tropical coastal bay. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 99 (4). pp. 377-389.

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Comparisons between shark nursery populations are limited, however recent work has shown different populations exhibit distinct space use patterns. This study examined the residency and space use of young of the year (YOY) and juvenile Australian blacktip sharks, Carcharhinus tilstoni in a northern Australian nursery using acoustic telemetry. Presence and space use patterns exhibited by C. tilstoni were highly variable among individuals. In contrast to other shark nursery populations, the majority of YOY individuals left the nursery area within three months of release, while most juveniles exhibited long-term residency (6 months - 1 year). In addition, YOY individuals used smaller amounts of space than juveniles. Variable activity space size and location indicated individuals used different areas and often moved into new areas. High individual variation in juvenile populations is atypical for carcharhinid sharks, and contrasts with other nursery species, including the common blacktip shark C. limbatus, which are known to exhibit residency and consistent space use patterns in nursery areas. The unique patterns observed among C. tilstoni may be due to a number of factors, including differences in nursery habitat and population structure, or strategies to improve survival. This study highlights the importance of investigating nursery behaviour across different habitats and populations.

Item ID: 44189
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5133
Keywords: acoustic tracking, Australia, individual variation, movement, nursery habitat, residency, space use
Funders: National Environmental Research Program (NERP)
Date Deposited: 25 May 2016 07:30
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300502 Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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