Sunday, 4 February 2018

New Australian marine tracking system maps a decade of widespread movements of our iconic sea species

January 31, 2018, Macquarie University

A new study led by researchers at the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and Macquarie University, and published in Scientific Data, has tracked the whereabouts of 117 marine species, ranging from sharks and saltwater crocs all the way to sea turtles and sea cows (dugongs), off the shores of Australia. The data is helping to unravel the widespread movements of Australian marine species, the researchers say, and provide insight into the natural habitats, distributions and changing behaviours of these animals in the face of climate change.

"The established IMOS Animal Tracking Facility network, consisting of nearly 2,000 receiving stations located around the country, allowed us to track 3,777 Australian sea animals, including some of Australia's most iconic species, such as great white sharks, green sea turtles and tunas," explained lead author Dr. Xavier Hoenner from the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).
"We collected and quality controlled 49.6 million acoustic detections from these tagged animals, which has given us insights into how far they moved, ranging from only a few kilometres to thousands, their preferred habitats and how their movements vary over time," added Hoenner.

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