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Fine-scale behavior and habitat use of the endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata): insights from accelerometry

Lear, K.O., Poulakis, G.R., Scharer, R.M., Gleiss, A.C. and Whitney, N.M. (2019) Fine-scale behavior and habitat use of the endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata): insights from accelerometry. Fishery Bulletin, 117 (4). pp. 348-359.

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Determining movement, behavior, and activity patterns is of central importance to conservation efforts for threatened and endangered species because this knowledge is crucial for prioritizing management actions. In this study, we used acceleration data loggers (ADLs) concurrently with passive acoustic monitoring to examine behavior, activity patterns, and habi¬tat use of juvenile smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) in a Florida nursery. Data from the ADLs indicate that small¬ tooth sawfish were more active and that more burst events indicative of foraging occurred during the evening and night than during the day. Smalltooth sawfish were also most active at depths <1 m and during low tides. The locations of individuals derived from acoustic mon¬itoring techniques indicate that they were less active while in mangrove creek habitats and were more active and more likely to engage in burst activity in habitats within the main stem of the Peace River. This study is the first one to deploy ADLs on smalltooth sawfish, and results describe their fine scale activity and behavior, clarifying patterns of habitat use by this endangered species in one of their few remaining nurseries.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems
Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: US National Marine Fisheries Services
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