A poster providing a summary of the Marine Biodiversity Hub research on the Northern River Shark.
A decade of Marine Biodiversity Hub Research led by Charles Darwin University shows the Northern River Shark to be more wide-ranging than previously thought, with new populations documented in several northern rivers. In 2010, the species was known from only 32 records in six rivers/estuaries; now more than 600 individuals have been recorded in 12 rivers/estuaries. Five genetically distinct populations were identified: four in Australia and one in Papua New Guinea. CSIRO close-kin mark-recapture analyses enabled the first population size estimates for one of these populations: the Northern Territory’s Van Diemen Gulf population size was estimated to be only ~600–1100 adults. The research provides monitoring and population assessment capability directly relevant to managing the recovery of the Northern River Shark and underpins environmental assessments under the EPBC Act in the context of northern Australia’s development.
Australia’s east coast Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) population is listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The population has undergone a severe reduction in size due to activities such as fishing and shark control programs.