Wednesday, January 08, 2014

MCSI - big Revelations in the Offing!

In-water SPOT tagging of monster GWS.


This has kinda gotten lost in the year-end hype.
And I cite.
In 2013 MCSI's white shark research program became the first to ever track mature females through 2 successive 2 year migrations, providing important information about where these sharks go to give birth! To accomplish this we tracked Annika for 4 years and Kimel for 5 years...breaking SPOT tracking records for any species of shark. 
In 2013 we also, for the first time, tracked Guadalupe Island females to both Oregon and California during the winter.
Whereas those record multiannual tracks may or may not lead to new insights, that last sentence appears to revolutionize everything I thought I had learned about that NE Pacific GWS populations! 
So far, my understanding was that at least when it comes to the females, there were two distinct populations with different coastal ranges, with one group of females mating at the the Farallones, migrating to the SOFA and then pupping in Southern California; and the other one mating at Lupe, migrating to the SOFA and then visiting pupping grounds in Mexico.

But maybe not.
Everything in nature happens along a continuum, and these may be merely stragglers confirming the general rule but indicating that philopatry is neither perfect nor absolute - or they may constitute new evidence forcing the researchers to revise the whole theoretical construct!
Very interesting - and very much looking forward to those papers!

Keep watching this space!

No comments: