The Cape Eleuthera Institute

Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Cape Eleuthera Institute

Eleuthera, Bahamas
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Shipley O.N.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Shipley O.N.,The Cape Eleuthera Institute | Brownscombe J.W.,Carleton University | Danylchuk A.J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Biology of Fishes | Year: 2017

Knowledge of the spatial ecology and movement of animals contributes to our understanding of intra- and inter-specific interactions and ecosystem dynamics, and can inform conservation actions. Here we assessed the space use and activity levels of a marine predator, the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi), in coastal regions of Eleuthera, The Bahamas over a 60-day period using acoustic telemetry. Of the 14 adult sharks (eight males, six females) tagged with acoustic transmitters (equipped with accelerometer sensor), nine were detected in a 14 km2 gridded receiver array. Male sharks were significantly less likely to be detected over time relative to females. Given post-release survival is typically high in C. perezi, this finding may indicate that males have larger home ranges and may exhibit lower site fidelity compared to females. Patterns of space use indicated C. perezi primarily occupied the outer reef shelf and were rarely detected on the interior of the reef. Shark activity levels (inferred from acceleration profiles) were highest in close proximity to the reef shelf. Our findings indicate C. perezi individuals frequently occupy deeper water habitats, but make forays into reef shelf habitats where high activity levels are likely related to foraging. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Tolentino E.R.,Microwave Telemetry Inc. | Howey R.P.,Microwave Telemetry Inc. | Howey L.A.,Microwave Telemetry Inc. | Jordan L.K.B.,Microwave Telemetry Inc. | And 6 more authors.
Animal Biotelemetry | Year: 2017

Background: Biologging and tracking instruments provide valuable, remote surveillance on otherwise unobservable marine animals. Instruments can be consumed (ingested) by predators while collecting data, and if not identified, the retrieved dataset could be assigned to the incorrect individual and/or species. Consumption events of instruments, such as pop-up satellite archival tags and data loggers that record ambient light, are typically identified by negligible light levels and visual assessment of data records. However, when light-level data are not available (e.g., environments below the euphotic zone, instrument model), instrument consumption is not easily discernible. Instruments that record concurrent, time-series temperature and depth data provide detailed information on the ambient temperature in the water column. However, if the instrument is consumed, the temperature profile may dissociate from the depth profile, providing evidence and a means for detecting consumption. Results: To quantify the dissociation between time-series depth and temperature profiles, we applied the cross-correlation function to evaluate the time delay and uncoupling between time-series depth and temperature profiles, suggestive of instrument consumption. Given that instruments may be consumed midway through the deployment duration, we extended the cross-correlation function to systematically slide across time-series profiles, sequentially considering subsets of data, to infer time of consumption. This method was applied to datasets from both deep-water (disphotic and aphotic) and epipelagic (euphotic) environments to evaluate instrument consumption. Results were dependent on ambient environment, data sampling rate, predator physiology, and function parameters. Conclusions: Utilization of the cross-correlation function objectively indicates potential instrument consumption events without the bias induced by subjective methods such as visual assessment of tag-recorded data, and does not require the simultaneous collection of light-level data. This methodology aids in the appropriate biological interpretation of tag-recorded data, ensures that data are not attributed to the incorrect species, and can be used to authenticate data during the validation process. Additionally, it is particularly useful for contrasting datasets from comparable studies (i.e., same location and species) and is applicable across taxa and electronic biologging instrument variations. © 2017 The Author(s).

Hannan K.D.,The Cape Eleuthera Institute | Hannan K.D.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Zuckerman Z.C.,The Cape Eleuthera Institute | Haak C.R.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Biology of Fishes | Year: 2015

Catch-and-release angling is growing as a tool for the conservation of fish stocks because it assumes that the impacts of angling are negligible. However, many studies have shown that catch-and-release can be stressful to the fish and even result in mortality. Bonefishing represents a popular catch-and-release fishery in the tropics and subtropics, with most anglers spending 6+ hours per day in full sunlight. To protect themselves, anglers typically employ sun protection in the form of liquid sunscreen and UV-blocking clothing. Exposure to chemicals contained in sunscreens may impose additional stressors on fish that are handled and subsequently released. In this study we conducted two separate experiments in the lab facilities in Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas. The first examined bonefish feeding behaviors in response to bait handled with zinc-based sunscreen, oxybenzone-based sunscreen, and no coating on the researcher’s hands. The second experiment quantified the effects of sunscreens and UV blocking gloves on the removal of fish’s protective mucus layer as a result of handling. We did not observe evidence of a change in feeding behavior when bait was handled with hands covered in sunscreen compared to wet hands. However, there was an increase in removal of protective mucus of bonefish when researcher’s hands were coated in oxybenzone containing sunscreen compared to researchers handling fish with wet hands. The results of this study indicate wet hands are the best way to handle fish when participating in catch-and-release angling. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

PubMed | Arcadia University, the Cape Eleuthera Institute, Florida State University and North West University South Africa
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2016

A new species of cirolanid isopod, Bathynomus maxeyorum sp. nov., from The Bahamas, Western Atlantic, is described. This species represents the fourth species of Bathynomus to be described from the tropical and sub-tropical Western Atlantic. Bathynomus maxeyorum sp. nov. is characterized by 7 broad short pleotelsonic spines, with setation running along ~80% of the posterior margin of the pleotelson. Genetic analysis indicates a ~14% sequence divergence from the sympatric species Bathynomus giganteus.

Shipley O.,The Cape Eleuthera Institute | Talwar B.,Florida State University | Grubbs D.,Florida State University | Brooks E.,The Cape Eleuthera Institute
Marine Biodiversity | Year: 2016

Isopods are micropredators of deep-water sharks; however, their associations are poorly described in the scientific literature. We present the association of three isopod genera Aega sp., Aegaphales sp., and Cirolana sp. with two species of deep-sea shark, the Cuban dogfish (Squalus cubensis) and the sharpnose sevengill (Heptranchias perlo). Although limited conclusions can be drawn from this observation, it provides a novel association of micropredatory isopods with two poorly studied species of deep-water shark. © 2016 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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