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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Movements of brown smoothhounds, Mustelus henlei, in Tomales Bay, California

  • Author(s): Campos, Brent R.
  • Fish, Maxfield A.
  • Jones, Gardner
  • Riley, Rebecca W.
  • Allen, Peter J.
  • Klimley, Peter A.
  • Cech, Joseph J.
  • Kelly, John T.
  • et al.

Ultrasonic telemetry was used to analyze the effects of environmental variables on movement directions and movement rates of brown smoothhounds, Mustelus henlei, in Tomales Bay, California. Ultrasonic transmitters were surgically implanted in the peritoneal cavities of one male and five female brown smoothhounds and tracked during the period of 29 June to 15 July 2004. Coarse-scale tracking consisted of locating all tagged individuals multiple times during a single session, while fine-scale tracking consisted of following a single individual continuously during a session. Coarse-scale tracking suggested movement toward the inner bay with incoming and high tides and toward the outer bay with outgoing and low tides (P = 0.01), whereas the diel cycle had no apparent effect on their movement directions. Mean shark movement rate was 0.09 m s−1 (range: 0.01–0.34 m s−1), with diel and tidal cycles both having significant effects on their rates of movement (P = 0.02 and P < 0.01), respectively. We tracked two female sharks on a fine scale over three tracking sessions in July 2004. Both individuals exhibited higher rates of movement during the night compared to the day (P < 0.01). While one shark’s rate of movement was not significantly affected by tidal stage, the other’s was (P < 0.001).

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