Marine Conservation & Habitat Mapping.
Find an example of a pipefish that is classified by the IUCN Red List as critically endangered and one that is least concern. Explain how differences in the biology of the two species might contribute to differences in their status, and on what basis the classifications were made.
Least Concern: Cosmocampus arctus – Snubnose Pipefish.
Critically endangered: Syngnathus watermeyeri – River Pipefish.
Differences in biology: Snub-nose pipe fish prefer marine environments such as coral reefs and rocky outcrops. River pipe fish prefer the estuary environment (Brackish waters) and can survive in both fresh and marine water environments.
This may contribute to their differences in the way that they inhabit different environments and so have different predators and different sources of food. River pipe fish rely heavily on the Eelgrass that makes up their habitat and zoo plankton to eat.
These classifications were made on the basis that there are a large number of Snubnose pipe fish in the wild, as they have minimal predators and no loss of habitat. The Rover pipe fish is considered critically endangered due to the building of dams that have destroyed the habitat and water circulations required for the River pipe fish to eat and live.
Identify two marine species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable in NSW, and explain why the species is listed as such.
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark – Sphyrna lewini – ENDANGERED.
The Scalloped Hammerhead shark is considered to be a endangered species for the following reasons;
· Poor recovery ability.
· Large amount of fishing of this species.
· Fishing of juveniles by gill-nets and trawl nets.
· Fishing of adults by gill-nets.
· Shark fins (large and valuable) & meat for eating and medicine.
Great White Shark – Carcharadon carcharias – VULNERABLE.
The Great white shark is considered to be a vulnerable species for the following reasons;
- Females do not produce offspring till they are of a certain maturity.
- They do not produce offspring every year.
- Females produce few pups.
This suggests that if they were to become endangered it would take a long time for the species to recover.
- Decline in species due to commercial fishing and entanglement in mesh netting.
In your blog, summarize how no-take zones work and when and where they are most effective.
No take zones work in the way that all commercial and recreational fishing is prohibited. This means that no animals are allowed to be removed from the waters in these areas.
They are instigated by the government to help protect certain ecosystems and environments. They are largely found in marine protected areas such as Marine parks and reserves. These areas already have moderated human activity to preserve the ecosystems and environment. The no take zones takes it one step further and bans all extraction of resources from that area.
In your blog, summarize the three types of zone present in NSW marine parks, and what types of activity are allowed within each. How are the three types of zoning distributed relative to one another, and why do you think this is the case?
The three zones include:
General Use zones, Habitat protection zones and Sanctuary zones.
The types of activities allowed in each area include: (As per Information from Jervis Bay marine park)
|General Use Zones||Habitat Protection Zones||Sanctuary Zones|
|Line Fishing||Line Fishing||Boating|
|Prawn hauling||Scallop Collecting||Snorkeling/ Scuba diving|
|Collecting for bait/food||Collecting for bait/food|
|Snorkeling/Scuba diving||Snorkeling/Scuba diving|
For research, collecting for science or research, whale watching and spearfishing/sailing competitions permits are required.
They are distributed relatively differently. There are minimal areas for General use and much more Habitat Protection zone than Sanctuary Zone. I believe this is the case as it is a national park that is home to a large number of different marine creatures. Its where Port Jackson sharks, Hammerhead sharks and Bronze Whaler sharks come to mate and breed, Its home to a number of seal colonies, whales pass through during their migration season. The zones are put in place to preserve these environments and protect the species that use the bay.
The General use areas, are provide so people can still participate in the activities they like to do when at the beach, but provides a guideline and rules that minimalize the effects of these activities on the wildlife within the bay.
Using the maps, describe the distribution of key habitats in two NSW estuaries of your choosing. Explain how these habitats might contribute to the ecosystem services provided by the estuary.
Wamberal, Terrigal, Avoca and Cockrone Lakes: Provides two large habitats for Ruppia (A type of marine plant also knows as ditch grasses or widgeon grass). Does not show any other types of habitat.
Moruya River and Congo Creek: Shows a number of different habitats including Saltmarsh, Zostera (sea grass), Halophila (Sea grass) and Mangroves.
These habitats may contribute to the ecosystem services in the form of:
- Habitat – Different types of places for different species to live – i.e mangroves.
- Food – Sea grasses/marine plants provide food and shelter for marine organisms & humans.
- Materials – Mangroves used for building etc.