WELCOME TO SPOT THE LEOPARD SHARK - a research project that uses photo-identification of individual leopard sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum - also known as zebra sharks) to investigate population abundance and demography, movement and longevity of wild leopard shark populations.
Almost all these animals are mature adults, the aggregation is seasonal and occurs mainly over the warmer months.
What is photo-identification (photo-ID)? Individuals within many different species have markings that can be used to tell them apart. When we take photographs of these animals the photos become data that can be used to address many different scientific and conservation questions including:
Research from southern Queensland, Australia
Chris Dudgeon (The University of Queensland) and colleagues have been using photo-ID as a technique to study leopard sharks in Queensland (QLD), Australia for ten years. Using archival photograph contributions we have now identified 388 individuals visiting the primary aggregation site in southern QLD with some animals having been sighted over 12 years! Population modelling has estimated that around 460 adult leopard sharks aggregate in southern QLD waters every year.
This is the largest known aggregation leopard sharks in the world!!
Some facts about leopard sharks
Spot the Leopard Shark: Thailand