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EARTH SCIENCE | BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION | ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES | FISH | SHARKS/RAYS/CHIMAERAS

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  • This record relates to communications outputs of a research project which centered around working with Indigenous communities to raise the profile of the Largetooth Sawfish and support community driven conservation efforts. Some of the items are intended for public viewing (videos and educational signage); but the other outputs are intended for use by the Indigenous communities involved in the sampling (trip reports and Malak Malak annual floodplain sampling protocol and I-Tracker data collection application).

  • Australia is home to a quarter of the world’s cartilaginous fishes (Class Chondrichthyes) with 328 species consisting of 182 sharks, 132 rays, and 14 chimaeras. Australia’s first Shark Action Plan aims to provide a comprehensive and consistent review of the extinction risk of all cartilaginous fishes (hereafter ‘sharks’) occurring in Australian waters, to provide a benchmark from which changes in population and risk can be measured, and to help guide management for their conservation. This Action Plan also serves to raise the profile of their diversity and conservation needs. This volume includes a taxa profile for each of the 328 species occurring in Australian marine and inland waters, including external territories. Each species’ extinction risk was assessed by applying the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria at the national level. Assessments of extinction risk consider all available information on a species’ taxonomy, distribution, population status, habitat and ecology, major threats, use and trade, and conservation measures. The IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria utilise a series of thresholds to evaluate extinction risk based on population size reduction, geographic range, population size, or the probability of extinction. Species were assessed against the five Red List criteria; to qualify for one of the three threatened categories (Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable), a species had to meet a quantitative threshold for that category in any of the five criteria. The overall status of sharks in Australia is characterised by a relatively low level of extinction risk and a high level of secure species. Of the 328 species, 12% are threatened (39 species: 22 sharks, 17 rays; no chimaeras are threatened); 10% are Near Threatened (32 species: 18 sharks, 13 rays, 1 chimaera); 70% are Least Concern (231 species: 123 sharks, 95 rays, 13 chimaeras); and, 8% are Data Deficient (26 species: 19 sharks, 7 rays, no chimaeras are Data Deficient). No species are Extinct or Extinct in the Wild. Each taxa profile specifies two sets of actions for a species: actions to address knowledge gaps, and actions to maintain, secure, and if necessary, recover the population. To improve the ability to accurately assess the status of species, and ultimately, better conserve and manage them, all species treated in this Action Plan require some knowledge gaps be filled. Knowledge gaps are divided into five themes, each of which improves the information base from which to assess status: taxonomy, distribution, population trend, life history, and connectivity. Conservation actions are provided for each species, regardless of the status assigned them in this Action Plan. While threatened species require immediate action to conserve, manage, and recover their populations, Least Concern species also require action to maintain their secure status. Data Deficient species require action to understand various aspects of their population, but since an assessment as Data Deficient acknowledges the possibility that future research may show that a threatened classification is appropriate, action is also needed to minimise or mitigate threats until such time as more information is available to show that the species is not threatened. Finally, an overarching recommendation is provided for each threatened species. This includes the recommendation that five species be considered for listing on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act), three species be considered for up-listing, and two species be considered for down-listing. An additional 12 threatened species have been identified as priorities for data collection where further data are required to strengthen the evidence-base underlying their status determinations. These species are priorities for research and monitoring to provide data to support inferred or suspected population reductions or continuing declines identified in the Action Plan. The implementation of the recommendations and actions in this Action Plan will require an ongoing and enhanced investment in science and management which will help secure the future of Australia’s sharks, rays, and chimaeras.

  • Google Earth KMZ files of hammerhead sharks tagged with Wildlife Computers miniPAT archival tags and SPOT6 tags. Files of animals tagged with MiniPAT tags include an MELE polygon, which is the 'Maximum extent of location estimates', that is, a polygon enclosing all position estimates at the maximum error level (100 km). Collectively, movements are restricted within state waters with no hammerheads moving across state or International boundaries.

  • The Maugean Skate Zearaja maugeana is a micro-endemic species known from only two isolated estuaries, Bathurst and Macquarie Harbours in southwestern/western Tasmania. This constitutes one of the most limited distributions of any known extant elasmobranch. As a result, the species is listed as ‘Endangered’ under the Threatened Species Protection Act (Tasmania) and the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (Commonwealth). Even though it was first discovered in Bathurst Harbour, most of what is known about the species comes from the Macquarie Harbour population. In fact, only four individuals have ever been reported in Bathurst Harbour, with the last known sighting occurring in 1992. This study aimed to use eDNA to determine the presence of the Maugean skate in Bathurst Harbour on the southwest coast of Tasmania. Water samples were collected within 1 m from the sea floor in Bathurst Harbour in November 2021 and February 2022, and in Macquarie Harbour (control samples) in December 2021. Samples were filtered using a self-preserving eDNA sampling system. Following each survey DNA from the samples was extracted and analysed through qPCR amplification. Mitochondrial primer pairs from two gene regions were used to detect the presence of Maugean skate DNA in the samples. Where possible, positive detections were sequenced, and their identity verified.

  • CSV files of location data (position estimates) for hammerhead sharks tagged with Wildlife Computers miniPAT archival tags and SPOT6 tags. Note that miniPAT data estimates may be up to 100 km (Kevin Lay, Wildlife computers pers comm). Location estimates from archival miniPAT tags also need to be considered against ARGOS location classes (see http://www.argos-system.org/manual/3-location/34_location_classes.htm). Collectively, movements are restricted within state waters with no hammerheads moving across state or International boundaries.

  • This record describes the sample collection location for grey nurse shark as part of NESP MB Project A9 - Grey Nurse Shark CK-MR Population Estimate – East Coast. The data attached to this record describes the locations and vB parameters of tissue samples collected between December 2002 and April 2017. Sequencing data will be added to ALA as it becomes available. See https://fieldcapture.ala.org.au/project/index/b3376517-e418-4a38-ba45-63faae7ed8be for updates.

  • This data describes various acanthocephalan, nematode and helminth parasites identified on elasmobranchs caught between 2015 and 2018 at a number of sites around Australian. All parasite and host data is contained with tables in publications linked to this record (see Supplementary Information and Online Resources section).

  • Meta data of all tagged hammerhead sharks detailing tag dates, locations, and shark biological details.

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    This dataset describes visual sightings of marine megafauna (whales, dolphins and sharks) obtained during a series of dedicated aerial surveys conducted as part of a NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub project within and around the Bremer Marine Park, southern Western Australia. The data reflect 25 hours of observer effort (on transect), and 62 sightings of four identifiable species, including killer whales (Orcinus orca), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.). Numerous unidentified cetaceans and sharks were also seen. For more information, see: https://www.nespmarine.edu.au/project/ep2-surveying-marine-life-canyons-bremer-bay

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    This dataset describes the relative abundance of an assemblage of commercially exploited pelagic fishes around Western Australia, mapped over a 30 arc-minute (0.5 degree) spatial grid. The data cover the period 1997-2006 and are derived from an analysis of commercial landings available through the Sea Around Us Project (http://www.seaaroundus.org/). Further details can be found in the following peer-reviewed publication: Bouchet PJ, Meeuwig JJ, Huang Z, Letessier TBL, Nichol SL, Caley MJ, Watson RA. 2017. Continental-scale hotspots of pelagic fish abundance inferred from commercial catch records. Global Ecology and Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12619 Below is a full list of species considered, with their respective contributions to the total catch (%): -------------------------------------------------- Greenback horse mackerel / Trachurus declivis -- 10.92 % Greater amberjack / Seriola dumerili -- 0.05 % Samson fish / Seriola hippos -- 0.01 % Silver gemfish / Rexea solandri -- 2.80 % Snoek / Thyrsites atun -- 1.22 % Indo-Pacific blue marlin / Makaira mazara -- 2.87 % Striped marlin / Tetrapturus audax -- 0.26 % Black marlin / Makaira indica -- 0.17 % Indo-Pacific sailfish / Istiophorus platypterus -- 0.06 % Shortbill spearfish / Tetrapturus angustirostris -- 0.00 % Bluefish / Pomatomus saltatrix -- 0.13 % Southern bluefin tuna / Thunnus maccoyii -- 19.17 % Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel / Scomberomorus commerson -- 16.93 % Skipjack tuna / Katsuwonus pelamis -- 9.82 % Yellowfin tuna / Thunnus albacares -- 9.40 % Bigeye tuna / Thunnus obesus -- 7.67 % Albacore tuna / Thunnus alalunga -- 4.16 % Longtail tuna / Thunnus tonggol -- 0.78 % Kawakawa (mackerel tuna) / Euthynnus affinis -- 0.56 % Wahoo / Acanthocybium solandri -- 0.01 % Great barracuda / Sphyraena barracuda -- 0.25 % Tope shark / Galeorhinus galeus -- 6.66 % Swordfish / Xiphias gladius -- 6.09 %