Recent expansion of marine protected areas matches with home range of grey reef sharks

Bonnin, Lucas, Mouillot, David, Boussarie, Germain, Robbins, William D., Kiszka, Jeremy J., Dagorn, Laurent, and Vigliola, Laurent (2021) Recent expansion of marine protected areas matches with home range of grey reef sharks. Scientific Reports, 11 (1). 14221.

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Dramatic declines in reef shark populations have been documented worldwide in response to human activities. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) offer a useful mechanism to protect these species and their roles in coral reef ecosystems. The effectiveness of MPAs notably relies on compliance together with sufficient size to encompass animal home range. Here, we measured home range of 147 grey reef sharks, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, using acoustic telemetry in New Caledonia. The distribution of home range was then compared to local MPA sizes. We report a home range of 12 km2 of reef for the species with strong differences between adult males (21 km2), adult females (4.4 km2) and juveniles (6.2 km2 for males, 2.7 km2 for females). Whereas local historic MPA size seemed adequate to protect reef shark home range in general, these were clearly too small when considering adult males only, which is consistent with the reported failure of MPAs to protect sharks in New Caledonia. Fortunately, the recent implementation of several orders of magnitude larger MPAs in New Caledonia and abroad show that recent Indo-Pacific MPAs are now sufficiently large to protect the home ranges of this species, including males, across its geographical range. However, protection efforts are concentrated in a few regions and cannot provide adequate protection at a global scale.

Item ID: 69965
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date Deposited: 09 May 2022 22:09
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