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31/01/2019 Research

Studying shark breeding grounds in Galapagos

The Galapagos Marine Reserve is home to vital nursery sites for shark species including the Critically Endangered scalloped hammerhead.

Photograph of Beth Byrne

Beth Byrne

Former Communications & Marketing Officer at Galapagos Conservation Trust

Despite being famous for its large aggregations of scalloped hammerhead sharks, it was not until 2017 that the first ever hammerhead nursery was found in Galapagos. Two years later, the Galapagos National Park have found a second area along the coast of Santa Cruz whilst on a routine monitoring expedition of juvenile sharks and turtles.

The team found around 20 hammerheads in the new area including both babies and juveniles, and tagged a few to learn more about how long they stay in their nursery grounds, and where they go once they leave. This important information will inform management strategies and help to protect these endangered sharks.

As part of our Endangered Sharks of Galapagos programme, we are researching nursery sites like these to further our understanding of shark populations in Galapagos. Through state of the art drone surveys of known nurseries, we are building an accurate picture of the numbers of juvenile sharks in a given area. This work focuses primarily on critically endangered hammerhead and vulnerable black tip shark species, which you can read more about in our handy infographic below.

Design by Lisa Brown

Design by Lisa Brown

Why not adopt a scalloped hammerhead and help fund important conservation work to protect this and other species? 

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