TechAquarium does it again!October 30, 2023
Research Fund 23/10 :: Noélia RiosNovember 12, 2023
Congratulations Jess Blakeway, a Ph.D. candidate working with the Marine and Terrestrial Megafauna Cluster at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, and Jess wrote to us asking for financial support for her research on the endemic Michael’s epaulette shark in eastern Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Epaulette sharks are a group of sharks comprising 9 species which are only found in the waters around Australia, New Guinea and its satellite islands. These sharks have the unique ability to “walk” over reef flats using their fins, leading to their common name of “walking sharks”. Four new species have been described in the last 15 years including Michael’s epaulette shark from the Oro and Milne Bay provinces of PNG.
Since its discovery in 2010, very little research has been conducted on the species, yet it is exposed to considerable threats, including loss of habitat throughout its highly restricted ranges from coastal development, and environmental degradation from climate change and industrial pollutants. At present, there are no local or national protections in place for Michael’s epaulette.
This research will be the first comprehensive study on the species, including multiple surveys throughout the Milne Bay and Oro provinces to conduct a reassessment of the full distribution for the species.
Needless to say we couldn’t say no to Jess, so we sent her 350 euros.
Many thanks, Jess, for the cool photo at the airport on your way to Papua New Guinea and have fun!