CDF Initiates Shark Tagging Study | November 6th, 2008

Following on from this research, on May 31 of this year CDF scientists began tagging white tip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus) off Santa Cruz Island, starting a one-year project to closely follow five individuals and gather information on the species’ biology and behaviour. Locally known as the tintorera, this shark is one of the most common in the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) and is listed in the Lower Risk/Near Threatened category of the IUCN Red List.

Since sharks constitute a key group in the marine ecosystem, information gathering on their population dynamics is a GMR management priority. The project is part of an initiative to study the movement and migration patterns of sharks throughout the tropical Eastern Pacific region, including the protected Cocos, Coiba and Malpelo island areas. The tagging procedures were approved by the Animal Care Committee of the University of California, Davis, a project partner.

During the recent tagging, two female white tips were fitted with ultrasonic tags at Punta Estrada. These devices emit a signal every two minutes. The coded information will reveal their daytime and nocturnal movements, as well as their migratory patterns within the GMR.

Over the course of the project, results will be communicated to authorities and the local community and posted on the regional shark research website,