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  • This record provides an overview of the NESP Marine and Coastal Hub project "Mapping temperate continental shelf seabed habitats". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- Rocky reefs provide anchors for attached marine invertebrate species such as corals and sponges, creating habitat for mobile invertebrates, and resident and roving fishes and mammals. They are subject to pressures from activities such as fishing, shipping, as well as climate change. Given their important natural, economic and social value, rocky reefs are focus areas for management in marine bioregional plans and Australian Marine Parks (AMPs). Previous collaborative research by the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub and Parks Australia found that for many AMPs, understanding the extent of seabed habitats (including reef) is a priority for evaluating management effectiveness. While detailed habitat maps exists for many nearshore regions, however, they are lacking for Commonwealth waters. This project will fill gaps in knowledge of the extent and distribution of seabed habitats on Australia’s temperate continental shelf, with a focus on surveys of rocky reefs in the South-west Marine Parks Network and the South-east Marine Parks Network. Existing data will be collated and analysed to validate the presence/absence of seabed habitats on the temperate continental shelf, and drop cameras will be deployed at priority areas the validate habitats. The new knowledge will enhance the capacity of AMP managers to protect marine park values and assess the effectiveness of management. Outputs • Seafloor imagery and annotations [dataset] • Validated habitat maps (for AMPs with detailed observations) [dataset] • Habitat prediction maps (for AMPs lacking observations) [dataset] • Updated reef extent layer for temperate continental shelf [dataset] • Final technical report [written]

  • This aim of this project is to identify and map critical habitats for Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) to assess the ecological value of different habitats for sea lions and identify risks to their populations. Through this project we collected animal-borne video, GPS, time-depth and accelerometer/magnetometer data from eight adult female Australian sea lions from Olive Island (n=4) on the western Eyre Peninsula and Seal Bay (n=4) on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Sea lions were instrumented with animal-borne cameras with integrated accelerometers/magnetometers (CATS Cam, 135 x 96 x 40 mm, 400 g) and satellite-linked GPS loggers with integrated time-depth recorders (SPLASH-10, Wildlife Computers, 100 x 65 x 32 mm, 200 g). Sea lions were sedated and anaesthetised and bio-logging instruments were glued to the pelage on the dorsal midline. Bio-logging instruments were recovered after a single foraging trip (~1-6 days). Populations of the endangered Australian sea lion have declined by >60% over the last 40 years. Australian sea lion populations show a marked uneven distribution in abundance across their range, which suggests that localised risk profiles from threats vary at small spatial scales. Fine scale differences in habitat-use are thought to underpin these differences. However, knowledge of the habitats that are critical to Australian sea lions is poor and their vulnerability to human impacts and threats at the fine-scale is not well understood. The data collected in this project provides fundamental information on critical benthic habitats for Australian sea lions, the differences in foraging behaviour of individual sea lions and their prey preferences. The information collected under this project improves our understanding of threats to sea lion populations and will support future conservation actions to recover the species. EMBARGO Data is currently embargoed until June 2024 and will be made available via this record at that time.