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Ecotourism increases the field metabolic rate of whitetip reef sharks


Barnett, A and Payne, NL and Semmens, JM and Fitzpatrick, R, Ecotourism increases the field metabolic rate of whitetip reef sharks, Biological Conservation, 119 pp. 132-136. ISSN 0006-3207 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2016 Elsevier Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.009


Wildlife tourism has been shown to cause behavioural changes to numerous species. Yet, there is still little understanding if behavioural changes have consequences for health and fitness. The current study combined accelerometry and respirometry to show that provisioning whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus) for tourism increases their daily energy expenditure by elevating activity levels during periods when they normally rest. Field metabolic rate increased by 6.37% on provisioning days compared to non-provisioning days. Since metabolism is a key parameter influencing most biological and ecological processes, this represents some of the clearest evidence to date that ecotourism can impact critical biological functions in wild animals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accelerometry, biologging, circadian rhythms, energetics, provisioning, Triaenodon obesus
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fish physiology and genetics
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:114258
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:62
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2017-02-09
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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