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Repeated, Long-Distance Migrations by a Philopatric Predator Targeting Highly Contrasting Ecosystems
Scientific Reports
  • James S. E. Lea, Nova Southeastern University; Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; Danah Divers - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; University of Plymouth - United Kingdom
  • Bradley M. Wetherbee, Nova Southeastern University; University of Rhode Island
  • Nuno Queiroz, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; CIBIO - Universidade do Porto - Vairao, Portugal
  • Neil Burnie, Bermuda Shark Project - United Kingdom
  • Choy Aming, Bermuda Shark Project - United Kingdom
  • Lara L. Sousa, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; CIBIO - Universidade do Porto - Vairao, Portugal; University of Southampton - United Kingdom
  • Gonzalo R. Mucientes, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas - Vigo, Spain; CETMAR - Vigo, Spain
  • Nicolas E. Humphries, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • Guy Harvey, Nova Southeastern University
  • David W. Sims, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; University of Southampton - United Kingdom;
  • Mahmood S. Shivji, Nova Southeastern University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
6-9-2015
Keywords
  • Animal migration,
  • Behavioural ecology,
  • Ecosystem ecology
Abstract
Long-distance movements of animals are an important driver of population spatial dynamics and determine the extent of overlap with area-focused human activities, such as fishing. Despite global concerns of declining shark populations, a major limitation in assessments of population trends or spatial management options is the lack of information on their long-term migratory behaviour. For a large marine predator, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, we show from individuals satellitetracked for multiple years (up to 1101 days) that adult males undertake annually repeated, roundtrip migrations of over 7,500km in the northwest Atlantic. Notably, these migrations occurred between the highly disparate ecosystems of Caribbean coral reef regions in winter and high latitude oceanic areas in summer, with strong, repeated philopatry to specific overwintering insular habitat. Partial migration also occurred, with smaller, immature individuals displaying reduced migration propensity. Foraging may be a putative motivation for these oceanic migrations, with summer behaviour showing higher path tortuosity at the oceanic range extremes. The predictable migratory patterns and use of highly divergent ecosystems shown by male tiger sharks appear broadly similar to migrations seen in birds, reptiles and mammals, and highlight opportunities for dynamic spatial management and conservation measures of highly mobile sharks.
Comments

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Additional Comments
Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia grant #: PTDC/MAR/100345/2008; FCT grant #: SFRH/BD/68717/2010; FCT Investigator Fellowship #: IF/01611/2013
ResearcherID
G-4080-2013
DOI
10.1038/srep11202
Citation Information
James S. E. Lea, Bradley M. Wetherbee, Nuno Queiroz, Neil Burnie, et al.. "Repeated, Long-Distance Migrations by a Philopatric Predator Targeting Highly Contrasting Ecosystems" Scientific Reports Vol. 5 Iss. 11202 (2015) p. 1 - 11 ISSN: 2045-2322
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mahmood-shivji/97/