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Keywords:

  • elasmobranch;
  • conservation;
  • endangered species;
  • recovery

ABSTRACT

  1. Research on rare and threatened species is often limited by access to sufficient individuals to acquire information needed to design appropriate conservation measures.
  2. Using a combination of data from pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags across multiple institutional programmes, movements and habitat use of endangered smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata were determined for animals from southern Florida and the Bahamas.
  3. All P. pectinata (n = 12) generally remained in coastal waters within the region where they were initially tagged, travelling an average of 80.2 km from deployment to pop-up location. The shortest distance moved was 4.6 km and the greatest 279.1 km, averaging 1.4 km day-1. Seasonal movement rates for females were significantly different with the greatest movements in autumn and winter.
  4. Pristis pectinata spent the majority of their time at shallow depths (96% of their time at depths <10 m) and warm water temperatures (22–28°C).
  5. Given sawfish show a degree of site fidelity punctuated by limited migratory movements emphasizes the need for conservation and management of existing coastal habitats throughout the species’ range.

Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.