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Movements of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) at Cocos Island, Costa Rica and between oceanic islands in the Eastern Tropical Pacific

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Nalesso, E, Hearn, A, Sosa-Nishizaki, O, Steiner, T, Antoniou, A, Reid, A, Bessudo, S, Soler, GA, Peter Klimley, A, Lara, F, Ketchum, JT and Arauz, R 2019 , 'Movements of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) at Cocos Island, Costa Rica and between oceanic islands in the Eastern Tropical Pacific' , PLoS ONE, vol. 14, no. 3 , pp. 1-16 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213741.

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Abstract

Many species of sharks form aggregations around oceanic islands, yet their levels of residency and their site specificity around these islands may vary. In some cases, the waters around oceanic islands have been designated as marine protected areas, yet the conservation value for threatened shark species will depend greatly on how much time they spend within these protected waters. Eighty-four scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini Griffith & Smith), were tagged with acoustic transmitters at Cocos Island between 2005–2013. The average residence index, expressed as a proportion of days present in our receiver array at the island over the entire monitoring period, was 0.52±0.31, implying that overall the sharks are strongly associated with the island. Residency was significantly greater at Alcyone, a shallow seamount located 3.6 km offshore from the main island, than at the other sites. Timing of presence at the receiver locations was mostly during daytime hours. Although only a single individual from Cocos was detected on a region-wide array, nine hammerheads tagged at Galapagos and Malpelo travelled to Cocos. The hammerheads tagged at Cocos were more resident than those visiting from elsewhere, suggesting that the Galapagos and Malpelo populations may use Cocos as a navigational waypoint or stopover during seasonal migrations to the coastal Central and South America. Our study demonstrates the importance of oceanic islands for this species, and shows that they may form a network of hotspots in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Nalesso, E and Hearn, A and Sosa-Nishizaki, O and Steiner, T and Antoniou, A and Reid, A and Bessudo, S and Soler, GA and Peter Klimley, A and Lara, F and Ketchum, JT and Arauz, R
Keywords: shark, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213741
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Nalesso et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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