Publication Repository

Decline in whale shark size and abundance at Ningaloo Reef over the past decade: The world's largest fish is getting smaller

Show simple item record

dc.contributor University Of Western Australia
dc.contributor Univ Western Australia
dc.contributor Charles Darwin Univ
dc.contributor Res Inst Climate Change & Sustainabil
dc.contributor University Of Adelaide
dc.contributor Sch Plant Biol
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Univ Adelaide
dc.contributor Charles Darwin University
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor S Australian Res & Dev Inst
dc.contributor Sch Earth & Environm Sci
dc.contributor Sch Environm Res
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science (aims) en MEEKAN, MARK G. BRADSHAW, COREY J. A. FITZPATRICK, BEN M. STEINBERG, CRAIG C. BROOK, BARRY W. 2017-03-21T01:17:38Z 2017-03-21T01:17:38Z 2013-02-28T06:50:32Z 2019-07-08T02:30:20Z 2017-03-21T01:17:38Z 2017-03-21T01:17:38Z 2013-02-28T06:50:32Z 2019-07-08T02:30:20Z 2008-07-01
dc.identifier 7804 en
dc.identifier.citation Bradshaw CJA, Fitzpatrick BM, Steinberg CR, Brook BW and Meekan MG (2008) Decline in whale shark size and abundance at Ningaloo Reef over the past decade: the world's largest fish is getting smaller. Biological Conservation. 141: 1894-1905. en
dc.identifier.issn 0006-3207
dc.description Link to abstract/full text - en
dc.description.abstract Over-exploitation of whale sharks threatens the future of these wide-ranging pelagic fish. A long-term continuous record (4436 sightings) from a large aggregation (300-500 resident individuals) of whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia shows that mean shark length declined linearly by nearly 2.0 m and relative abundance measured from ecotourism sightings (corrected for variation in search effort and environmental stochasticity) has fallen by approximately 40% over the last decade. This population-level result confirms previous predictions of population decline based on projection models parameterised using mark-recapture estimates of survival. The majority of these changes are driven by reductions in the number of large individuals in the population. Phenomenological time series models support a deterministic (extrinsic) decline in large females, although there was some evidence for density dependence in large males. These reductions have occurred despite the total protection of whale sharks in Australian waters. As this species is highly migratory, the rapid change in population composition over a decade (<1 whale shark generation) supports the hypothesis of unsustainable mortality in other parts of their range (e.g., overfishing), rather than the alternative of long-term abiotic or biotic shifts in the environment. As such, effective conservation of whale sharks will require international protection, and collaborative tagging studies to identify and monitor migratory pathways. Crown Copyright (c) 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
dc.description.uri en
dc.language English
dc.language en en
dc.relation.ispartof Biological Conservation - pages: 141: 1894-1905 en
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.subject Gulf-of-mexico
dc.subject Leeuwin Current
dc.subject Rhincodon Typus
dc.subject Evolutionary Responses
dc.subject Multimodel Inference
dc.subject Size Reduction
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Australia
dc.subject Biodiversity Conservation
dc.subject Rhincodon-typus
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Exploitation
dc.subject Environmental Sciences
dc.subject Western-australia
dc.subject Whale Shark
dc.subject Biodiversity & Conservation
dc.subject Decline
dc.subject Northwest Atlantic
dc.subject Density-dependence
dc.subject Marine Ecosystems
dc.subject Indian-ocean
dc.title Decline in whale shark size and abundance at Ningaloo Reef over the past decade: The world's largest fish is getting smaller
dc.type journal article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.05.007
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000258306300016

Files in this item

Files Size Format View

There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search Publication


My Account