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This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project A3 - "A national assessment of population status of White Sharks". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- White sharks are listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act and the subject of a national recovery plan, yet there is still no effective way to assess their population status and thus no way of determining the efficacy of conservation actions. Recent debate due to various human-shark interactions has highlighted the need for further information. This Project provides a national assessment of white shark population size and status in order to establish the efficacy of existing recovery actions and provide a scientifically sound and rational basis from which to develop policies that balance conservation objectives and public safety. Planed Outputs • Tools to refine and integrate CK-MR, electronic tagging distribution and species demographic data for population assessments of a key threatened species at a national scale (combining knowledge developed under this project combined with similar techniques being applied under NESP to euryhaline sharks and planned for grey nurse sharks). • National estimates of (census) population size and trend for white sharks in Australian waters (western and eastern populations respectively) are established that fulfil the highest priority actions of the National Recovery Plan. • New genetic and statistical tools trialled for the estimation of historical population trend from contemporary tissue samples for key species for which other methods of population assessment are unreliable or unavailable. • Provide information that identifies movement corridors, hotspots and contributes to management strategies for top-order marine predators • Estimate juvenile white shark survival and abundance for input into integrated national population assessment models in order to refine population estimates. • National-level information on habitat use, behaviour and spatial dynamics of white sharks at various scales used to provide the scientific underpinning for government decisions and policies as well as provide for more informed public debate. • Identify national strategies to monitor white shark populations. • The project will provide peer-reviewed additions to the scientific literature that will add to the science-support for the development and implementation of policies to support the ecologically sustainable management of Australia’s marine environment.
To quantify the winter diving behaviour and vertical habitat use of adult female Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) we tracked females using Wildlife Computers Time-Depth Recorders (TDRs). Females were captured towards the end of the lactation period (March/April) and the TDR was attached dorsally to the fur approximately 10 cm anterior to the rump using a two-part epoxy. TDRs were retrieved just prior to or after giving birth the following season. Data files were extracted from the tags using the Wildlife Computers software Instrument Helper.