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Authors

Yusup A Jentewo
Roni Bawole
Tresia S Tururaja
Mudjirahayu Mudjirahayu
Zeth Parinding
Hendrikus R Siga
Muhammad Dailami
Abdul Hamid A Toha

Abstract

This study aims to determine the total length and scar condition of the body of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) in Cendrawasih Bay National Park (TNTC), Papua-Indonesia. Photo-identification was used to identify individuals of the whale shark R. typus based on spot patterns behind the last gill slit of each individual. Photo-identification was also used to determine the scar of the whale shark. The total length of whale sharks were estimated based on the length of a snorkeller (assumed to be 1.6 m) swimming alongside the whale shark. We identified 21 individuals of R. typus. Of these 21 individuals, 14 were new sightings and seven were re-sightings that have been recorded in the previous photo collection database. R. typus ranged in size from 2 to 5 m total length (average 3.78 m, ±0,86, N= 21). Based on their size, all individuals of whale shark were categorized as juvenile. 52% of R. typus identified had scars and 38 % were not and 10% were unknown. The majority of whale sharks had amputation (12 individuals) and abrasion (7 individuals) scars. Scars occurred most often on the caudal fin and dorsal fin, five and four individuals respectively. This information is useful for understanding potential threats and designing better management programmes for R. typus conservation in TNTC.

Keywords:
Papua , R. typus , scar , TNTC , total length

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