Probable nursery habitat for critically endangered great hammerhead on the US Atlantic Coast

Published on
11. July 2021

First identification of probable nursery habitat for critically endangered great hammerhead Sphyrna mokarran on the Atlantic Coast of the United States

Catherine Macdonald, Jacob Jerome, Christian Pankow, Nicholas Perni, Kristina Black, David Shiffman, Julia Wester


Great hammerheads (Sphyrna mokarran) have undergone significant global population declines and were assessed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN in 2019. Identification and protection of critical habitat, particularly during early life stages, is considered imperative for species conservation and management. We report the first identification of a probable nursery area for young-of-the-year and juvenile great hammerheads off the Atlantic coast of the United States. Notably, these animals were all encountered within highly human-impacted marine habitats near Miami, Florida. The capture of nine individuals under 200 cm total length in a 10-month period supports the hypothesis that this area represents a primary or secondary nursery habitat for great hammerheads.

Conservation Science and Practice, Early View, DOI: 10.1111/csp2.418


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