Blacktip reef sharks at Kalaupapa National Historical Park

Alan Friedlander, Eric Brown (NPS), Kostantinos Stamoulis, Alex Filous, Randall Watanuki, (NPS), Sylvester Lee (NPS)


Overfishing and habitat degradation greatly impact coral reefs and components of the fish assemblage such as apex predators which are targeted by fishing activities. The lack of natural baselines reduces our ability to understand how natural ecosystems func-tion and how best to conserve and manage them un-der human stress. Remote locations with limited fish-ing pressure are some of the few remaining examples of coral reefs without major anthropogenic influence. Kalaupapa National Historical Park (KALA) on the island of Moloka‘i is one of the few places in the main Hawaiian Islands where these conditions exist.

Blacktip1

Preliminary surveys at KALA have indicated that one apex predator, the blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus), is locally abundant during certain times of the year in shallow water habitats within the park.

This project involves acoustically tagging these sharks, and other shark species with which they share habitat, and establishing a network of receivers within the park to document movement patterns and habitat use.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Understanding movement patterns, the extent of the home range, niche partitioning, as well as some aspects of blacktip reef shark trophic ecology, are the primary objectives of the proposed study and will assist the park in conserving this shark population.KALA_receiver_array

For more information contact Kostantinos Stamoulis (kostanti@hawaii.edu)

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