Population dynamics of the reef manta ray Manta alfredi in eastern Australia

Couturier, L. I. E., Dudgeon, C. L., Pollock, K. H., Jaine, F. R. A., Bennett, M. B., Townsend, K. A., Weeks, S. J. and Richardson, A. J. (2014) Population dynamics of the reef manta ray Manta alfredi in eastern Australia. Coral Reefs, 33 2: 329-342. doi:10.1007/s00338-014-1126-5


Author Couturier, L. I. E.
Dudgeon, C. L.
Pollock, K. H.
Jaine, F. R. A.
Bennett, M. B.
Townsend, K. A.
Weeks, S. J.
Richardson, A. J.
Title Population dynamics of the reef manta ray Manta alfredi in eastern Australia
Formatted title
Population dynamics of the reef manta ray Manta alfredi in eastern Australia
Journal name Coral Reefs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0722-4028
1432-0975
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00338-014-1126-5
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 33
Issue 2
Start page 329
End page 342
Total pages 14
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract The reef manta ray Manta alfredi aggregates at several sites along the east coast of Australia. Photographic identification and mark-recapture methods were used to report on the site affinity, size and structure of this population of M. alfredi. A total of 716 individuals were identified in 1982-2012, including 636 at Lady Elliot Island (LEI), southern Great Barrier Reef. Over 60 % of individuals identified were resighted at least once during the study period. Multiple resightings within and among years imply a high degree of site affinity by individuals to aggregation sites. One individual was sighted 11 times at LEI over a 30-yr period. The sex ratio of this population was significantly biased towards females (1.2:1 female-to-male ratio), and females were more commonly resighted than males. Robust design population models were used to estimate the population size of the winter aggregation at LEI over a 4-yr period. The models estimated up to 456 (95 % CI 399-535) M. alfredi individuals in the population within one winter season and a high annual apparent survival. This study demonstrated that waters around LEI form a key aggregation site for a large portion of the M. alfredi population in east Australian waters.
Formatted abstract
 The reef manta ray Manta alfredi aggregates at several sites along the east coast of Australia. Photographic identification and mark–recapture methods were used to report on the site affinity, size and structure of this population of M. alfredi. A total of 716 individuals were identified in 1982–2012, including 636 at Lady Elliot Island (LEI), southern Great Barrier Reef. Over 60 % of individuals identified were resighted at least once during the study period. Multiple resightings within and among years imply a high degree of site affinity by individuals to aggregation sites. One individual was sighted 11 times at LEI over a 30-yr period. The sex ratio of this population was significantly biased towards females (1.2:1 female-to-male ratio), and females were more commonly resighted than males. Robust design population models were used to estimate the population size of the winter aggregation at LEI over a 4-yr period. The models estimated up to 456 (95 % CI 399–535) M. alfredi individuals in the population within one winter season and a high annual apparent survival. This study demonstrated that waters around LEI form a key aggregation site for a large portion of the M. alfredi population in east Australian waters.
Keyword Program MARK
Photographic identification
Aggregation
Abundance
Survival
Site affinity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID LP110100712
Institutional Status UQ

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 26 May 2014, 19:10:20 EST by Scarla Weeks on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management