Hand feeding can periodically fuel a major portion of bull shark energy requirements at a provisioning site in Fiji

Brunnschweiler, J.M., Payne, N.L., and Barnett, A. (2018) Hand feeding can periodically fuel a major portion of bull shark energy requirements at a provisioning site in Fiji. Animal Conservation, 21 (1). pp. 31-35.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12370
 
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Abstract

Wildlife tourism is often extolled for its contribution to conservation. However, understanding the effects of tourism activities on the health of target animals is required to fully assess conservation benefits. Shark tourism operators often use food rewards to attract sharks in close proximity to tourists, but nothing is known about the contribution of these food rewards to the energetic requirements of target species. In this study, hand feeding of bull sharks Carcharhinus leucas was directly observed on 36 commercial shark watching dives in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve (SRMR), Fiji. Mean number of tuna heads consumed per dive by focal individuals ranged from 1.3 to 3.7. Monitored bull sharks consumed an average of ~0.74 heads per provisioning day, and bioenergetics modelling suggests that some sharks might periodically be meeting their full energy requirement from provisioning at the SRMR. Knowing how much individual sharks consume at provisioning sites and how this relates to their energy requirements is crucial in order to better understand the effects of wildlife tourism and its contribution to conservation.

Item ID: 53108
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-1795
Keywords: elasmobranch; Carcharhinus leucas; ecotourism; metabolism; shark tourism; bioenergetics; provisioning; bull shark
Funders: Shark Foundation, Switzerland, Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF)
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2018 03:03
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060699 Physiology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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