Spatiotemporal distribution patterns of immature Australasian white sharks

Published on
23. June 2020

Spatiotemporal distribution patterns of immature Australasian white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias)

Julia L.Y. Spaet, Toby A. Patterson, Russell W. Bradford, Paul A. Butcher


In Australian and New Zealand waters, current knowledge on white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) movement ecology is based on individual tracking studies using relatively small numbers of tags. These studies describe a species that occupies highly variable and complex habitats. However, uncertainty remains as to whether the proposed movement patterns are representative of the wider population. Here, we tagged 103 immature Australasian white sharks (147–350 cm fork length) with both acoustic and satellite transmitters to expand our current knowledge of population linkages, spatiotemporal dynamics and coastal habitats. Eighty-three sharks provided useable data. Based on individual tracking periods of up to 5 years and a total of 2,865 days of tracking data, we were able to characterise complex movement patterns over ~45° of latitude and ~72° of longitude and distinguish regular/recurrent patterns from occasional/exceptional migration events. Shark movements ranged from Papua New Guinea to sub-Antarctic waters and to Western Australia, highlighting connectivity across their entire Australasian range. Results over the 12-year study period yielded a comprehensive characterisation of the movement ecology of immature Australasian white sharks across multiple spatial scales and substantially expanded the body of knowledge available for population assessment and management.

Sci Rep 10, 10169 (2020). DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-66876-z


Leave a Reply