One of the sub-project within the ‘Waders of the Bijagos’ project is the study on high tide predators on intertidal mudflats. Specifically, we aim to elucidate the ecological role of rays and sharks within intertidal ecosystems. Whereas most studies focusing on ray and shark ecology have been conducted on tropical coral reefs or are based on fishery dependent data, the ecological role of this predatory guild within large pristine intertidal ecosystems remains unclear. Based on our previous work within the Banc d’Arguin (Mauritania) we hypothesized that the ecological role of these species can be so profound within intertidal areas, that it is even linked to any fluctuations in the populations of migratory shorebirds along the East Atlantic Flyway. For this project we aim to study the following:
- The diversity and community composition of elasmobranchs (i.e. sharks and rays) within the Bijagos Archipelago.
- The ecological role of these high tide predators on intertidal mudflats and adjacent waters.
- How populations and species composition of rays and sharks have changed over the last decades.
- How the decrease of rays and sharks within intertidal areas might cascade through the rest of the ecosystem.
On this project website we will keep you up to date about this subproject, any related information and (scientific) publications. Please read more on the Bijagos and the subproject in our first two blogposts. If you have any questions about this sub-project, contact Guido Leurs of the University of Groningen.
Latest posts in Rays & Sharks
- On the quest of studying sharks and rays within complex and remote intertidal ecosystems.
- The Bijagos Archipelago, a West African biodiversity hotspot.