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Interacting with wildlife tourism increases activity of white sharks


Huveneers, C and Watanabe, YY and Payne, NL and Semmens, JM, Interacting with wildlife tourism increases activity of white sharks, Conservation Physiology, 6, (1) Article coy019. ISSN 2051-1434 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for Experimental Biology. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1093/conphys/coy019


Anthropogenic activities are dramatically changing marine ecosystems. Wildlife tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry and has the potential to modify the natural environment and behaviour of the species it targets. Here, we used a novel method to assess the effects of wildlife tourism on the activity of white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). High frequency three-axis acceleration loggers were deployed on ten white sharks for a total of ~9 days. A combination of multivariate and univariate analysis revealed that the increased number of strong accelerations and vertical movements when sharks are interacting with cage-diving operators result in an overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) ~61% higher compared with other times when sharks are present in the area where cage-diving occurs. Since ODBA is considered a proxy of metabolic rate, interacting with cage-divers is probably more costly than are normal behaviours of white sharks at the Neptune Islands. However, the overall impact of cage-diving might be small if interactions with individual sharks are infrequent. This study suggests wildlife tourism changes the instantaneous activity levels of white sharks, and calls for an understanding of the frequency of shark-tourism interactions to appreciate the net impact of ecotourism on this speciesí fitness.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accelerometry, Carcharodon carcharias, ecotourism, energy budget, metabolic rate
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecological physiology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:131131
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:29
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2019-03-04
Last Modified:2019-04-15
Downloads:34 View Download Statistics

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