Environmental DNA illuminates the dark diversity of sharks
MetadataShow full item record
© 2018 The Authors. In the era of "Anthropocene defaunation," large species are often no longer detected in habitats where they formerly occurred. However, it is unclear whether this apparent missing, or "dark," diversity of megafauna results from local species extirpations or from failure to detect elusive remaining individuals. We find that despite two orders of magnitude less sampling effort, environmental DNA (eDNA) detects 44% more shark species than traditional underwater visual censuses and baited videos across the New Caledonian archipelago (south-western Pacific). Furthermore, eDNA analysis reveals the presence of previously unobserved shark species in humanimpacted areas. Overall, our results highlight a greater prevalence of sharks than described by traditional survey methods in both impacted and wilderness areas. This indicates an urgent need for large-scale eDNA assessments to improve monitoring of threatened and elusive megafauna. Finally, our findings emphasize the need for conservation efforts specifically geared toward the protection of elusive, residual populations.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Decadal trends in shark catches and effort from the New South Wales, Australia, Shark Meshing Program 1950-2010Reid, D.; Robbins, William; Peddemors, V. (2011)The New South Wales (NSW) government has operated a program of netting beaches for the protection of swimmers and surfers against shark attack since 1937 in Sydney, and since 1949 in Newcastle and Wollongong. The scope ...
Robbins, William; Renaud, P. (2016)© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.Knowledge of an animal’s predatory interactions provides insight into its ecological role. Until now, investigation of reef shark predation has relied on artificial stimuli to ...
Spatial patterns of distribution and relative abundance of coastal shark species in the Galapagos Marine ReserveAcuña-Marrero, D.; Smith, A.; Salinas-De-León, P.; Harvey, Euan; Pawley, M.; Anderson, M. (2018)A better understanding of the patterns of distribution and abundance of sharks and their potential biological and environmental drivers is essential to develop and evaluate spatial management plans for conservation and ...