Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tracking the deep sea paths of tiger sharks: Understanding the habitat-use and migration patterns of large sharks

Date:
January 9, 2014
Source:
Griffith University
Summary:
Shark research scientists have undertaken a four year study tracking the migratory patterns of tiger sharks across the Southwest Pacific.

This shows the underwater release of one of the tiger sharks with two of the authors.
Credit: Photo by Thomas Vignaud

Shark research scientist, Dr Jonathan Werry, has undertaken a four year study tracking the migratory patterns of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) across the Southwest Pacific.

The research, in collaboration with the French government, followed the movement of 33 tiger sharks (1.54 to 3.9 m total length) across the Coral Sea between New Caledonia and the Great Barrier Reef.

The animals were tagged with satellite and acoustic transmitters and their localised movements monitored by receivers in New Caledonia, the Chesterfield and Lord Howe Islands in the Coral Sea and the east coast of Queensland, Australia.

Dr Werry said the findings, to be published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, reveal that coastal marine parks provide only brief protection for these important marine predators while oceanic reefs, vital to their ecology, are overlooked.

"In this study we looked at migratory movements and fidelity to specific reefs for tiger sharks tagged in New Caledonia, the east coast of Australia (the Great Barrier Reef) and oceanic reefs in the centre of the Coral Sea," Dr Werry said.

"We found the monitored sharks utilised three dimensional activity spaces of between 503 and 2360 kmᶟ but the range of movement varied consistently with the age and sex of the animal," he said.

One 3.7 m female tiger shark was recorded to a previously unknown depth of 1136m.

"When it comes to traveling long distances adult females are the primary custodians for the 'across Coral Sea' migrations, and this is probably driven by triennial reproductive cycles," Dr Werry said.

"Pre-reproductive females and mature male tiger sharks on the other hand, were observed to demonstrate extraordinary year round residency in the oceanic Chesterfields reef, so this area appears to be a very important habitat for them."

On coastal reefs, all of the monitored tiger sharks were found to be transient.

Dr Werry said understanding the habitat-use and migration patterns of large sharks is extremely important for assessing the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas, as well as the vulnerability of these predators to fisheries and environmental influences and management of shark-human interactions.

"Management strategies need to consider the wide-ranging movements of large (sub-adult and adult) male and female tiger sharks at the individual level, in particular when fidelity to specific coastal reefs may be consistent across groups of individuals," he said.

The importance of oceanic Coral Sea reefs should be a priority for future research."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Griffith University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jonathan M. Werry, Serge Planes, Michael L. Berumen, Kate A. Lee, Camrin D. Braun, Eric Clua. Reef-Fidelity and Migration of Tiger Sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, across the Coral Sea. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e83249 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083249

Cite This Page:

Griffith University. "Tracking the deep sea paths of tiger sharks: Understanding the habitat-use and migration patterns of large sharks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109003959.htm>.
Griffith University. (2014, January 9). Tracking the deep sea paths of tiger sharks: Understanding the habitat-use and migration patterns of large sharks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109003959.htm
Griffith University. "Tracking the deep sea paths of tiger sharks: Understanding the habitat-use and migration patterns of large sharks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109003959.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins