Migration patterns of juvenile Lutjanus argentimaculatus in a mangrove estuary in Trang province, Thailand, as revealed by ultrasonic telemetry
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Migrational patterns of mangrove jack Lutjanus argentimaculatus were studied in a mangrove estuary in Trang province, Thailand, using ultrasonic telemetry. Ultrasonic coded transmitters were surgically implanted in 18 fish and 16 of them were subsequently monitored by nine fixed receivers installed along Sikao Creek estuary in June and November 2006. Due to technical limitations all of the individuals were released in the middle of the creek. Their movements were monitored for a period of up to 1 month, the data being used to describe short term migration of juvenile Lutjanus argentimaculatus in the creek and to find possible environmental cues for the observed movements. All of the individuals showed a tide related movement pattern, suggesting foraging in the small mangrove channels and/or mangrove forest during high tides. 50% of the fish left the study area for the open coast area within a short time following release, indicating that a part of juvenile L. argentimaculatus may move in between estuarine habitats instead of being site attached. As the fish were reared in fish cages for a certain period of time before the study this behavior could partly be explained by the time spent in captivity. It was found that L. argentimaculatus showed higher movement activity during night high tides possibly explained by an increased availability of the sough after food items.
KeywordsMangrove estuary Lutjanus argentimaculatus Migration Ultrasonic telemetry
We thank the staff of Rajamangala University for their help during the fieldwork, and M. Holmer for provided helpful discussion and advice. We are grateful to the National Research Council of Thailand for the granting of permits to conduct this research in Thailand. We also thank G. Hardy for English correction, and anonymous reviews for invaluable comments on previous drafts.
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