Assessing the incidental value of a marine reserve to a lemon shark Negaprion brevirostris nursery

Aaron C. Henderson, Adrian Jourdan, Kathryn Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The lemon shark is a large coastal species that is currently classified as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. As juveniles of the species utilize shallow, near shore habitat, they are particularly susceptible to anthropogenic impacts. The abundance, size characteristics, growth, condition factor and movement patterns of juvenile lemon sharks within the Bell Sound Nature Reserve were compared with those outside the Reserve. Sharks were more abundant within the Reserve, which also accommodated a greater proportion of smaller size classes. Although there was no difference in linear growth-rate between sharks inside and outside the Reserve, those outside exhibited higher condition factor values. It is suggested that these results are due mainly to habitat preference on the part of the sharks, with the predominantly shallower near shore waters of the Reserve offering a greater level of protection from predation. Regardless of the causative factor, the area occupied by the Bell Sound Nature Reserve appears to be highly important to the local juvenile lemon shark population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-491
Number of pages10
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • coastal
  • conservation evaluation
  • island
  • mangrove
  • marine protected area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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