- Research on rare and threatened species is often limited by access to sufficient individuals to acquire information needed to design appropriate conservation measures.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.