, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 213-221

Use of natural marks on population estimates of the nurse shark,Ginglymostoma cirratum, at Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve, Brazil

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Abstract

We assessed information on the population structure of the nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum, at Atol das Rocas, northeastern Brazil, through underwater observations. Based on photographic records of natural distinctive marks for individual recognition, we used probabilistic estimators (Petersen–Bailey and Jolly–Seber) to assess population size. We found that 46% of the sharks (194 individuals) had distinctive marks. The population size was estimated in 368 individuals, using the Petersen–Bailey estimator, and 339 individuals using the Jolly–Seber estimator.