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Society for Conservation Biology

9th Annual Meeting
July 15, 2005 - July 19, 2005
Brasillia, Brazil
Presentation at this event.

Read more about SCB's 19th Annual Meeting

The Zoology Department of the Universidade de Brasília (UnB) will host the 2005 Society for Conservation Biology Annual Meeting, bringing together conservation biology scientists, practitioners and students from around the world.

The SCB 2005 Annual Meeting will consider the theme of "Conservation Biology Capacity Building & Practice in a Globalized World" and other emerging topics through plenary sessions, symposia, workshops, organized discussions, contributed oral presentations, short courses and poster sessions as well as field trips to key conservation sites.

Diversity, movement and habitat use of reef-associated elasmobranchs at a Caribbean oceanic atoll (Glover’s Reef, Belize): implications for marine reserve design.

Ellen K. Pikitch , Demian D. Chapman , Elizabeth Babcock , Mahmood S. Shivji , Phaedra Doukakis
Studies of the elasmobranch fauna of Glover's Reef Marine Reserve (GRMR), Belize, document the significance of this protected atoll as a nursery area for four species of elasmobranchs (Carcharhinus perezi, Ginglymostoma cirratum, Negaprion brevirostris, Dasyatis americana) and the use of the atoll by eight other species of elasmobranchs (6 sharks, 2 batoids), including, the Galapagos shark C. galapagensis, previously known in the Caribbean from only one specimen.

Differences in elasmobranch abundance, species composition and intraspecific size distribution were found among shallow lagoon, deep lagoon and ocean reef habitat types, indicating habitat-partitioning. Inshore regions in Belize are also nursery grounds for N. brevirostris and five species that were not found as neonates offshore at GRMR: blacktip C. limbatus, bonnethead Sphyrna tiburo, scalloped hammerhead S. lewini, great hammerhead S. mokarran, and Caribbean sharpnose Rhizoprionodon porosus.

Telemetry studies conducted to track movements of nurse Ginglymostoma cirratum and Caribbean reef Carcharhinus perezi further reveal that both species also moved widely throughout and outside of the atoll. Many individuals traveling more than the 10 km width of the no-take "conservation zone" of the marine reserve. Although most sharks were tagged within the conservation zone, on average individuals were detected outside the conservation zone on 48 days out of the 150 day study. Of the 7 G. cirratum tagged near the center of the conservation zone, 4 were never detected outside the no-take zone.

These studies show that coral reef marine protected areas should be designed to maximize habitat diversity and that, in general, effective conservation of these large roving predators requires an ecosystem-based management approach including a zoned management plan, similar to that used at GRMR, in which a fairly large no-take reserve, incorporating diverse habitats and the connections between them, is surrounded by a larger area in which fishing is regulated. GRMR is an important breeding ground for several species of elasmobranches and is important for conserving elasmobranchs. Urgent need for further study and conservation attention for the highly vulnerable elasmobranch populations of the world's second largest barrier reef ecosystem.

Authors highlighted in blue are staff of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science.

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