Multi-Species Inventory of Elasmobranchs (Sharks and Skates) in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada

Parks Canada Species at Risk Inventory Fund Project Number: SARINV07-23 March 31, 2008

Jim McCaffrey, Queen Charlotte Islands 1959

Jennifer L Yakimishyn, MSc Marine Researcher Pacific Rim National Park of Canada

Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Table of Contents 1. Abstract ....................................................................................................................................... 1 2. Introduction................................................................................................................................. 3 3. Methods....................................................................................................................................... 5 3.1 Current and Historical Elasmobranch Observations............................................................. 5 3.2 Spatial Analysis for Elasmobranch Observations................................................................. 8 3.3 Skate Egg case Surveys ...................................................................................................... 11 4. Results....................................................................................................................................... 13 4.1 Current and Historical Elasmobranch Observations........................................................... 13 4.2 Kernel Density Surface Maps for Elasmobranch Observations ......................................... 25 4.3 Skate Egg case Surveys ...................................................................................................... 29 5. Discussion ................................................................................................................................. 35 6. Future Recommendations ......................................................................................................... 39 7. Literature cited .......................................................................................................................... 40 Appendix 1 - Report a Shark Skate or Ray Poster........................................................................ 42 Appendix 2 - Elasmobranch Survey Form.................................................................................... 44 Appendix 3 - Photographs of Elasmobranch Records .................................................................. 46

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

List of Figures Figure 1. Example of skate egg case survey data on the Kestrel website....................................... 7 Figure 2. Perspective view of the ArcMap quartic approximation of a Gaussian kernel for a single point, a single line and their sum................................................................................ 10 Figure 3. Formula used to calculate the height of the kernel at each location on the plane. ........ 10 Figure 4. Distribution of all elasmobranch observations. ............................................................. 15 Figure 5. The recorded big skate observations from 1887 to 2007. ............................................. 19 Figure 6. The 8 recorded basking shark observations from 1998 to 2006 (6 confirmed observations). ........................................................................................................................ 19 Figure 7. The 45 recorded blue shark observations from 1994 to 2007. ...................................... 20 Figure 8. The 10 bluntnose sixgill shark and 3 broadnose sevengill shark observations from 1941 to 2007. ................................................................................................................................. 20 Figure 9. The 9 great white shark observations from 1963 to 2007 (4 confirmed observations). 21 Figure 10. The 15 salmon shark observations from 1949 to 2007................................................ 21 Figure 11. The 49 spiny dogfish shark observations from 1939 to 2007. .................................... 22 Figure 12. The 17 tope shark observations from 1947 to 2007. ................................................... 22 Figure 13. All elasmobranch observations made in 2007............................................................. 23 Figure 14. Number of individual elasmobranch species observed each month in 2007............... 24 Figure 15. Kernel density surface of all elasmobranch observations recorded in 2007 using three different cell sizes (1000 m, 500 m, and 100 m). ................................................................. 26 Figure 16. Kernel density surface of all elasmobranch observations recorded in 2007 using four different search radii (1000 m, 2500 m, 4000 m, 5000 m). .................................................. 27 Figure 17. Kernel density surface of all elasmobranch observations recorded in 2007 using four different 4000 m search radius and 100 m cell size with geographic locations labelled...... 28 Figure 18. Kernel density surface of all elasmobranch observations from all years combined that occurred in the southern waters of Vancouver Island with geographic locals labelled........ 28 Figure 19. Skate egg case survey areas for the five surveys conducted from February to December in 2007. ................................................................................................................ 30 Figure 20. Skate egg case survey areas for the three surveys conducted from January to February in 2008. ................................................................................................................................. 31 Figure 21. Three egg case species found and identified during the egg case surveys.................. 32 Figure 22. Survey areas and skate egg case species and locations for surveys conducted in 2007. Survey 4 was not included because there were no egg cases found. .................................... 33 Figure 23. Survey areas and skate egg case species and locations for surveys conducted in 2008. ............................................................................................................................................... 34 List of Tables Table 1. Elasmobranch and skate egg case survey dates and locations.......................................... 8 Table 2. Summary of elasmobranch species recorded during this study and their known distribution in the northeast Pacific. ..................................................................................... 14 Table 3. All elasmobranch observations that occurred within the boundaries of PRNPR and in waters adjacent to GINPR..................................................................................................... 16

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

1. Abstract Sharks and skates are a group of cartilaginous fish called elasmobranchs that occur in coastal waters of British Columbia. Shark and skate populations are globally declining due to their vulnerability to fishing pressure because they are long-lived, slow to mature and produce few young. Overfishing of top predatory sharks has cascading effects on the balance of marine food webs. Thirteen sharks species exist in the marine waters surrounding Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR) and the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has designated six of these species as species at risk. The basking shark is listed as endangered, the sixgill, tope and brown cat sharks are listed as special concern, and the great white and blue sharks are data deficient. In this study, historical and current locations were recorded for all of these species, except the brown cat shark. This project compiled a total of 284 current and historical shark and skate sightings from local community members and organizations such as the Royal British Columbia Museum, PRNPR, and Strawberry Island Research Society. Thirty-seven of these observations occurred within the boundaries of PRNPR and 32 occurred in waters surrounding Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR). Overall, in 2007, 84 elasmobranch observations were made in waters along on the west coast of Vancouver Island and consisted of eight species and one unidentified shark species. The highest numbers of sightings were recorded from July to September. Eight surveys of skate egg cases were also conducted in the spring of 2007 ad 2008 in the Long Beach unit of PRNPR. The big and longnose skate egg cases occurred in the highest numbers in February in the Long Beach north area.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

I compiled all distributional elasmobranch and skate egg case data points into databases (\\PRP-WDNSMulti\Groups\Common\Jenn\sharks_and_rays\databases\elasmobranch_db_2007.xls, \\PRPWDNS-Multi\Groups\Common\Jenn\sharks_and_rays\databases\Skate_eggcase_surveys.xls), which is available to Species At Risk (SAR) proponents and COSEWIC for status report preparation and review. For this report the distributional data points were used to generate multielasmobranch species distribution maps. The elasmobranch distribution database was also input into the NatureServe Kestrel data management system and therefore is accessible to internal and external government agencies, non-government organizations, and members of the conservation community. Future project recommendations include working with local First Nations communities to compile Traditional Ecological Knowledge on elasmobranch species, provide elasmobranch identification training opportunities to local sportfishing guides, continue interview style surveys on local docks, continue surveys of skate egg case in Long Beach north area in February, and use communication tools to deliver Species at Risk and elasmobranch information to the local community and adjacent urban centers.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

2. Introduction Elasmobranchs are a group of cartilaginous fish that inhabit the coastal marine waters of British Columbia (BC) and include sharks and skates. Shark populations, are globally declining due to their vulnerability to fishing pressure because they are long-lived, slow to mature and produce few young (Baum et al 2003). Overfishing of top predatory sharks has cascading effects on the balance of marine food webs (Myers et al 2007). Consequently, determining the distribution and status of sharks and skates in coastal BC is an important component to determine the health of the coastal marine ecosystems. Approximately thirteen shark and eleven skate species exist in the marine waters within and adjacent to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR). The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed the status of seven elasmobranch species at their May 2007 meeting. The seven species include the brown cat shark (Apristurus brunneus), the sandpaper (black) skate (Bathyraja interrupta), the big skate (Raja binoculata), the longnose skate (Raja rhina), the tope (soupfin) shark (Galeorhinus galeus), the bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus), and the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus). The brown cat shark was listed as data deficient, all three skate species were listed as not at risk, the tope and bluntnose sixgill sharks were listed as special concern, and the basking shark was listed as endangered. In addition to these seven reports, the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) and the blue shark (Prionace glauca) were assessed by COSEWIC in 2006 (COSEWIC 2007). However, the status of both Pacific populations of these species could not be determined due to data deficiency. The provincial red and blue lists also do not currently track shark and skate species and consequently this list is incomplete. On an international scale both white shark and the basking sharks are listed as vulnerable by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

(CITES 2007). In addition, all seven species except the longnose skate are also red-listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) (IUCN 2007). Knowledge gaps are evident for this group of marine fish because of the difficulty in studying these highly mobile, elusive and long-lived marine species. However, a multi-species inventory is appropriate for these species because of overlapping ranges and similar sighting requirements. The range of the nine elasmobranch species discussed above includes the marine waters surrounding and within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR). More specifically, the range of the three skate species is limited to the Northeast Pacific with an 80% or greater chance of occurrence in waters surrounding and within PRNPR. Most of the shark species have a circumglobal distribution, except for the brown cat shark whose distribution is limited to the temperate Eastern Pacific seas with a 60% or greater chance of occurrence. Although the tope and bluntnose sixgill sharks are found globally their occurrence in waters surrounding and within PRNPR is greater than 60%. Whereas, the chance of encountering blue, white and basking sharks is 20% in the southern waters of Vancouver Island (FishBase 2007). In summary, there is a high occurrence of six of the nine elasmobranch species assessed by COSEWIC in the marine waters surrounding and within PRNPR. Consequently, PRNPR plays an important role in identifying priority areas for conservation of these species through the compilation of local historical and current distribution data. The main objectives of this project include compiling historical elasmobranch records from PRNPR, the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM), and local community knowledge for areas within and surrounding PRNPR. In addition, local knowledge has recently been acknowledged by COSEWIC as important information to include in their assessment process (COSEWIC 2008).

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

In this study, historical records included distributional data collected along the entire coast of BC. I recorded current elasmobranch observations by interviewing local sportfishers and community members working on the water. At sea behavioural observations and locations provided valuable information not recorded by the fisheries observation program (Scott Wallace personal communication). Park employees and park visitors also made opportunistic observations that were included in the dataset. Researchers and park wardens also did skate egg case surveys in the Long Beach unit of PRNPR in the spring and winter months. All distributional data was compiled into a database and is available to Species At Risk (SAR) proponents and COSEWIC for status report preparation and review. For this report the distributional data was used to generate multi-elasmobranch species distribution maps. Lastly, this project provides Parks Canada with a starting point for future SAR recovery planning priorities.

3. Methods 3.1 Current and Historical Elasmobranch Observations Individual reports of current and historical elasmobranch observations and locations ranged from the Aleutian Islands southward to the state of Washington. However, the focal area for current observations was off the southern west coast of Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. I surveyed the local communities of Ucluelet, Tofino, Bamfield and Port Renfrew for current elasmobranch observations. Information collected included the reporting person and their contact information, the date, time and location of the observation, species identification and description, behavioural observations and any additional comments. Two methods were used in conjunction to obtain elasmobranch observations: 1) notice posting and 2) dockside interview

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

surveys. The notice developed contained all the requested observation information with a contact number and email address (Appendix 1). The notice was posted at local docks in the communities of Ucluelet, Tofino, Bamfield and Port Renfrew and distributed to local community members including sportfishers, whale watching and scuba dive business operators. Using interview style surveys (Appendix 2) I interviewed sportfishers at the local docks of Ucluelet, Tofino and Port Renfrew from June to September (Table 1). I also distributed the surveyor forms to the local Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) creel surveyors in Ucluelet and Tofino to include in their survey. Lastly, I collected historical elasmobranch observations from the RBCM, sportfishers, whale watching operators, local naturalists such as Rod Palm at Strawberry Island Research and Brian Gisborne owner and operator of the Juan De Fuca Express. Geographic coordinates for each observation were obtained by one of the two methods: 1) estimated location of the animal based on identifiable coastline and bathymetric features and names and 2) the exact location was obtained from a handheld GPS unit. Data was compiled and input into a Microsoft excel database (\\PRP-WDNSMulti\Groups\Common\Jenn\sharks_and_rays\databases\elasmobranch_db_2007.xls) and linked to ArcMap 9.2 for spatial analysis. I also gave the elasmobranch distribution database to Whitney Weber at NatureServe to input into the NatureServe Kestrel data management system (Figure 1, http://kestrel.natureserve.org). Kestrel is an online system that manages biodiversity information in Parks Canada and allows for integration and data sharing within Parks Canada as well as with other local, provincial, federal and international government agencies, non-government agencies and other members of the biodiversity conservation community. All future SAR inventory fund recipients will also be required to enter their species distribution data into the Kestrel system.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 1. Example of skate egg case survey data on the Kestrel website.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Table 1. Elasmobranch and skate egg case survey dates and locations. Type of Survey Elasmobranch interview style survey Survey location Ucluelet Tofino Tofino Ucluelet Ucluelet Port Renfrew Tofino Ucluelet Port Renfrew Schooner Schooner Long beach Wickaninnish beach Fletchers beach Schooner South beach Long beach Survey date July 5, 2007 July 6, 2007 July 26, 2007 July 27, 2007 August 14, 2007 August 22, 2007 August 29, 2007 August 30, 2007 September 3, 2007 February 15, 2007 April 27, 2007 May 2, 2007 May 2, 2007 December 9, 2007 January 18, 2008 February 4,2008 February 4,2008

Skate egg case beach surveys

3.2 Spatial Analysis for Elasmobranch Observations Two methods were used to map elasmobranch observations: 1) using points and 2) using fixed kernel density surfaces. First, I mapped each elasmobranch observation as points. Both estimated and exact geographic coordinates for each elasmobranch observation were mapped. Maps depicting each observation as a point were created using several different point symbologies to distinguish between species. Elasmobranch distributions were also mapped by generating fixed kernel density surfaces in ArcMap 9.2 (ESRI 2005). Kernel density surface is a useful method to apply locational observations to an animal’s home range (Worton 1989). Kernel density has also been used to identify preferred habitat or “hotspot” locations of SAR listed marine mammals along the West Trail Unit of PRNPR (Collyer et al 2007). In this study, I generated a kernel for each observation point. Kernels can be thought of as bumps (Silverman 1986) rising from the two-dimensional plane of the map (Figure 2). These

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

bumps are highest at the observation and decline in height, smoothly and symmetrically until it meets the plane of the map at a specified distance from the observation (Figure 3). This distance is termed the “search radius” in many GIS applications. The search radius affects how smooth or flat the resulting surface appears. A larger search radius will create a smoother surface or a welldefined mode. Although there are analytical methods designed to assist in the selection of an appropriate search radius (Worton 1989, Silverman 1986, Seaman & Powell 1996), Beyer (2006) suggests expert opinion and careful review of the results are the most important criteria.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Point

Line

Point + Line

Figure 2. Perspective view of the ArcMap quartic approximation of a Gaussian kernel for a single point, a single line and their sum
For each of these surfaces a search radius of 500 m was used. The lines shown are a 100 m regular square grid; note that the dimension of the radius of the point kernel and ½ the width of the line kernel is 500 m. The quartic kernel created from a point representing a single animal is shown at top. The quartic kernel created from a line representing a single animal (animal / scaling unit of line) is shown in the middle. Both of these kernels are probability densities; the volume under their surface integrates to 1. The sum of the two surfaces is shown at bottom; the volume of this surface equals 2. For the bottom surface to be a probability density it must be divided by 2 (the population value) used to create it.

^ 3S ⎛ r 2 ⎞ f ( x, y ) = N 2 ⎜1 − 2 ⎟ for r ≤ h and f ( x, y ) = 0 for r > h πh ⎜ h ⎟ ⎝ ⎠

^

2

Figure 3. Formula used to calculate the height of the kernel at each location on the plane.
Where: f(x,y) is the value (height) of the surface at the evaluation point having the geographic co-ordinates (x,y), h is the search radius, r is the distance from the observation point to the evaluation point, N is the number of animals associated with the observation point (the population value) and S is a scaling factor often used to avoid rounding errors (Breyer 2006). When the S and N terms equal one, this formula is described as the quartic approximation of a bivariate Gaussian probability density function (O’Sullivan & Huber 2003).

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

To determine the “best” visual depiction of elasmobranch observations I varied the cell size and search radius of the kernel density maps. A cell size should give an accurate visual depiction and have smoother edges (more pixels) without being too small or too large (Beyer 2004). Three cell sizes were examined: 100 m, 500 m, and 100 m. Huber (2003) emphasized that a search radius size should provide a logical and meaningful kernel density map for the data and numerous radii should be examined to determine the “best” size. Numerous search radii were explored ranging from 100 m to 10,000 m but only four will be presented in this paper: 1000 m, 2500 m, 4000 m, and 5000 m. The final search radius used in this study was selected based on the following criteria: 1) it revealed relatively detailed patterns in the data, 2) it provided an error estimate for the elasmobranch location entered and interpreted by the researcher, and 3) expert biological opinion considered that search radius kernel could reasonably be used to model the area of activity of the animals. Initially, I calculated the kernel density for the 2007 elasmobranch occurrence data. This data was more reliable to identify areas of high use because it was collected on a regular basis and the shorter time between the observation and reporting it to the researcher ensured more accurate reports. Therefore cell size and search radii sizes were evaluated using this data. A second kernel density map was calculated for all the current and historical elasmobranch occurrence data in waters surrounding southern Vancouver Island. This kernel density surface map used the cell and search radius size that was previously tested on the 2007 data.

3.3 Skate Egg case Surveys

Researchers and park wardens conducted egg case surveys in the Long Beach Unit of PRNPR from February to May in 2007 and in February in 2008 (Table 1). No surveys were done

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

in the fall of 2007 because no egg cases were present on the beaches. One or two people did the surveys by walking the high tide line of the beach. A handheld GPS unit (4 m positional accuracy) recorded a survey track file (the area surveyed) and a waypoint location was taken for every egg case found. Each egg case found was photographed, identified to species, and cut in half to avoid double-counting. Voucher specimens were sent to Dr. David Ebert at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories an expert in Northeast Pacific skate egg cases (Ebert and Davis 2007) for species identification and confirmation. Data was compiled and input into a Microsoft Excel database (\\PRP-WDNSMulti\Groups\Common\Jenn\sharks_and_rays\databases\Skate_eggcase_surveys.xls) and input into the NatureServe Kestrel data management system (http://kestrel.natureserve.org). Lastly, survey area and egg case location were mapped in ArcMap 9.2. By using a different symbol for each egg case species I mapped the distribution of egg cases along the beaches within the Long Beach unit of PRNPR. Survey areas were calculated with a 25-metre buffer on either side of the track line, because it was the maximum distance a surveyor could distinguish an egg case on the beach.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

4. Results 4.1 Current and Historical Elasmobranch Observations

In this study, a total of 284 elasmobranch observations were compiled from historical records and current observations with 275 observations identified to species (Table 2). The elasmobranch record locations ranged from the Aleutian Islands to Washington (Figure 4). More specifically, 37 elasmobranch observations were recorded within the boundaries of PRNPR (Table 3). The COSEWIC SAR-listed species observed include one endangered species (basking shark), two special concern species (tope shark, bluntnose sixgill shark), one data deficient species (blue shark), one not at risk species (big skate), and two species not assessed by COSEWIC (spiny dogfish, salmon shark). Many observations made within PRNPR were carcasses washed up on the beaches, but indicate that the marine waters within and outside national park boundaries are being utilized by these species. In the waters surrounding GINPR 32 elasmobranch observations were recorded (Table 3). The RBCM collection records provided all the records for GINPR and were only historical records. The records for the waters surrounding GINPR consisted of three skate species listed as not at risk by COSEWIC (big, longnose and sandpaper skates) and the spiny dogfish currently not assessed by COSEWIC.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Table 2. Summary of elasmobranch species recorded during this study and their known distribution in the northeast Pacific.
Species Alopias vulpinus Amblyraja badia Bathyraja abyssicola Bathyraja aleutica Bathyraja interrupta Bathyraja maculata Bathyraja minispinosa Bathyraja parmifera Bathyraja trachura Carcharodon carcharias Cetorhinus maximus Galeorhinus galeus Hexanchus griseus Isurus oxyrinchus Lamna ditropis Notorynchus cepedianus Prionace glauca Pteroplatytrygon violacea Raja binoculata Raja rhina Raja stellulata Somniosus pacificus Squalus acanthias Torpedo californica Total # of records Common name Thresher shark Broad skate Deepsea skate Aleutian skate Sandpaper skate Whiteblotched skate Whitebrow skate Alaska skate Roughtail skate Great white shark Basking shark Tope shark Bluntnose sixgill shark Shortfin mako Salmon shark Broadnose sevengill shark Blue shark Pelagic stingray Big skate Longnose skate Starry skate Pacific sleeper shark Spiny dogfish Pacific electric ray Distribution Southeast Alaska to Chile BC to Panama Aleutian Islands to southern California Bering Sea to Gulf of Alaska Bering Sea to southern California Bering Sea Bering Sea Bering Sea to Gulf of Alaska Bering Sea to Baja California Gulf of Alaska to Gulf of California Gulf of Alaska to Gulf of California Northern BC to Gulf of California Aleutian Islands to California Aleutian Islands to Chile Bering Sea to Baja California Northern BC to Gulf of California Gulf of Alaska to Chile BC to Chile Bering Sea to Baja California Bering Sea to Baja California Bering Sea to Baja California Bering Sea to Baja California Bering Sea to Gulf of California Northern BC to Baja California # of records 2 2 1 4 44 1 1 5 6 9 8 18 10 2 16 3 46 1 22 20 1 2 49 2 275

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Figure 4. Distribution of all elasmobranch observations.

Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Table 3. All elasmobranch observations that occurred within the boundaries of PRNPR and in waters adjacent to GINPR.
Location Species Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Grice bay Spiny dogfish Big skate Long beach Tope shark Tope shark Salmon shark Basking shark Tope shark Combers beach Tope shark Tope shark Big skate Wickaninnish beach Salmon shark Big skate Florencia bay Bluntnose sixgill shark Spiny dogfish Spiny dogfish Broken group Spiny dogfish islands Spiny dogfish Pachena bay Tope shark Tsusiat Salmon shark Blue shark Carmanah Salmon shark Salmon shark Big skate Gulf Islands National Park Reserve Fulford harbour Big skate Longnose skate Satellite channel Sandpaper skate Sandpaper skate Longnose skate Spiny dogfish Sandpaper skate Saltspring island, Sandpaper skate beaver point Sandpaper skate Portland island Sandpaper skate Swanson channel Spiny dogfish Sandpaper skate Prevost passage Sandpaper skate Longnose skate Longnose skate James island Longnose skate COSEWIC assessment Date # of records

Not assessed Not at risk Special concern Special concern Not assessed Endangered Special concern Special concern Special concern Not at risk Not assessed Not at risk Special concern Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Special concern Not assessed Data deficient Not assessed Not assessed Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not assessed Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk Not at risk

Aug 11, 2002 May 25, 2005 Oct 21, 1990 Oct 22, 2004 July 17, 2005 Aug 16, 2006 Oct 6, 2007 Nov 20, 2000 Oct 5, 2004 Aug 29, 2007 1999 Jun 3, 2006 Feb 13, 1992 Aug 3, 2007 Sept 13, 2007 Jun 30, 1973 July 2, 2007 Oct 4, 2007 Aug 14, 2006 July 7, 2006 June 27, 2007 Aug 23, 2007 Sept 2, 2007 Feb 2, 1965 Feb 2, 1965 Feb 26, 1941 May 15, 1978 Oct 3, 1978 Oct 3, 1978 Jan 29, 1979 Oct 26, 1978 Jan 29, 1979 Oct 26, 1978 Oct 3, 1978 Jan 29, 1979 Oct 26, 1978 Oct 26, 1978 Jan 29, 1979 Oct 26, 1978

10 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 2 2 1 2 3 4 2 1 2 1 3 3 1 1

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Individual species distribution maps were prepared for nine common elasmobranch species that occurred within and adjacent to the boundaries of PRNPR and GINPR. A total of 19 big skates were recorded for southern Vancouver Island (Figure 5). In this study, a few observations were recorded north of Vancouver Island from the RBCM records, but otherwise that area was not surveyed. Therefore, three additional big skate observations made in the southern Queen Charlotte Islands in Gowgaia bay on Moresby Island were not shown in the map. The five big skate observations made in the southern Gulf Islands are from historical records collected by the RBCM. Overall, big skates are frequently observed and caught in waters adjacent to PRNPR and carcasses often wash up on beaches within the national park. A total of eight historical basking shark records were recorded for the west coast of Vancouver Island (Figure 6). Six observations were recorded in 1998-99, and two observations occurred in 2005 and 2006. However, inexperienced observers reported the 2005 and 2006 observations and therefore species identity remains unconfirmed. These two observations were still included in the database and map with appropriate comments on confidence level. Blue sharks were the most frequently reported species by sportfishers fishing in waters off Vancouver Island. A total of 45 blue sharks were reported from 1994 to 2007, with 29 of these observations made in 2007 (Figure 7). Bluntnose sixgill sharks and broadnose sevengill sharks were mapped together because there were fewer observations (Figure 8). A total of ten bluntnose sixgill sharks were reported between 1941 and 2007, with six observations occurring along the west coast of Vancouver Island and four located in the southern Gulf Islands. In addition, sixgill sharks are known to frequent Tyler Rock in Barkley Sound. However exact dates and numbers were not collected during this study and consequently the observations were not included in the database or maps. A

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

total of three observations of broadnose sevengill sharks were made on Swiftsure bank off the West Coast Trail in 2006 and 2007. Confirmation of the broadnose sevengill sighting in 2006 was made from the original photograph (Appendix 3). A total of nine great white shark observations were recorded along the west coast of Vancouver Island from 1963 to 2007 (Figure 9). However, only four of these observations were confirmed through photographs and expert opinion. A total of 15 salmon shark records were mapped from records collected from 1949 to 2007 (Figure 10). The RBCM recorded the 1949 observation that was the only record that occurred in the southern Gulf Islands. In addition, all observations that occurred within the PRNPR boundaries were beached juvenile salmon sharks. Forty-nine spiny dogfish sharks observations were recorded from 1939 to 2007 (Figure 11). The historical records were compiled from the RBCM and ranged from the southern Gulf Islands to the Broken Group Islands within PRNPR. Sportfishers made most of the observations in 2007 by either catching or observing spiny dogfish while they were fishing for other fish. A total of 17 tope shark locations were recorded from observations made from 1947 to 2007 (Figure 12). The RBCM recorded two historical records made in 1947 that occurred in the southern waters of Vancouver Island. In addition, the majority of the observations made within PRNPR were from dead tope sharks washing up on beaches within the national park.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 5. The recorded big skate observations from 1887 to 2007.

Figure 6. The 8 recorded basking shark observations from 1998 to 2006 (6 confirmed observations).

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 7. The 45 recorded blue shark observations from 1994 to 2007.

Figure 8. The 10 bluntnose sixgill shark and 3 broadnose sevengill shark observations from 1941 to 2007.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 9. The 9 great white shark observations from 1963 to 2007 (4 confirmed observations).

Figure 10. The 15 salmon shark observations from 1949 to 2007.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 11. The 49 spiny dogfish shark observations from 1939 to 2007.

Figure 12. The 17 tope shark observations from 1947 to 2007.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Overall, in 2007, 84 elasmobranch observations were recorded in waters along the west coast of Vancouver Island and consisted of eight species and one unidentified shark species (Figure 13). The observations confirmed by photographs include a big skate on Combers beach, a spiny dogfish on Florencia bay, two salmon sharks beached near Carmanah lighthouse on the West Coast Trail, one tope shark on Long Beach and one tope shark on Pachena bay (Appendix 3). The surveyor identified all other observations from the observer or through a detailed description. In 2007, the number of elasmobranch sightings was highest from July to September (Figure 14). Blue sharks were sighted most frequently in August and spiny dogfish had the highest number of sighting in September. All other species were observed at relatively low numbers from April to November.

Figure 13. All elasmobranch observations made in 2007.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

20 18 16 Number of individuals 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov

Big skate Blue shark Bluntnose sixgill Broadnose sevengill Great white shark Salmon shark Spiny dogfish Tope shark

Figure 14. Number of individual elasmobranch species observed each month in 2007.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

4.2 Kernel Density Surface Maps for Elasmobranch Observations

Kernel density surfaces were generated from elasmobranch observations recorded in 2007 using three different cell sizes (1000 m, 500 m, and 100 m) (Figure 15). A cell size of 100m provided the best visualization of the data at the geographical scale used in this analysis. The second step explored the best search radius size and the four search radii sizes explored include: 1000m, 2500m, 4000m, and 5000m (Figure 16). The search radius that provided the best data resolution and adequately addressed the mobility of the animals was 4000m (Figure 17). Overall, the highest density of elasmobranch observations occurred in offshore waters on La Perouse and Swiftsure banks (Figure 17). In nearshore waters, areas of higher elasmobranch densities occurred off Nitinat lake and Carmanah lighthouse along the West Coast Trail. A smaller high density area occurred in the rocky shores adjacent to Amphitrite lighthouse and lastly, the most northerly high density area occurred along Chesterman’s beach. The only high density area that occurred within the boundaries of PRNPR was along the West Coast Trail just north of Carmanah lighthouse. Kernel density surface was also examined for all elasmobranch observations recorded in the southern waters of Vancouver Island (Figure 18). The highest density of elasmobranchs in GINPR occurred in the waters surrounding Portland Island. Off the west coast of Vancouver Island areas along La Perouse and Swiftsure banks had the highest densities of elasmobranches. High elasmobranch density areas within PRNPR include Nitinat to Caramanh along the WCT, the southeast corner of the BGI, along Long Beach and in Grice Bay. The rocky outer shorelines near Ucluelet and Chesterman’s Beach near Tofino also had high elasmobranch densities.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 15. Kernel density surface of all elasmobranch observations recorded in 2007 using three different cell sizes (1000 m, 500 m, and 100 m).

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 16. Kernel density surface of all elasmobranch observations recorded in 2007 using four different search radii (1000 m, 2500 m, 4000 m, 5000 m).

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 17. Kernel density surface of all elasmobranch observations recorded in 2007 using four different 4000 m search radius and 100 m cell size with geographic locations labelled.

Figure 18. Kernel density surface of all elasmobranch observations from all years combined that occurred in the southern waters of Vancouver Island with geographic locals labelled.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

4.3 Skate Egg case Surveys

Eight skate egg case surveys were done in the Long Beach Unit of PRNPR. From February to December in 2007, five surveys were done from Long beach north to outside the national boundaries on Fletchers beach (Figure 19). Three surveys were done from Long beach north to South beach from January to February 2008 (Figure 20). Three species (big skate, longnose skate and spotted ratfish) were identified from all the egg cases observed (Figure 21). Survey 1, done on February 15, 2007 along Long beach north had a total of 20 big skate egg cases, 51 longnose skate egg cases and two ratfish egg cases (Figure 22). Survey 2, also done along Long beach north but on April 27, 2007, had a total of 9 big skate egg cases, 28 longnose skate egg cases, and one ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei) egg case (Figure 22). Survey 3 done from Long beach to Combers beach on May 2, 2007 had only two egg cases found, one big skate and one longnose skate (Figure 22). Survey 4 done on May 2, 2007 along Wickaninnish beach had no egg cases. Survey 5 was the last survey done in 2007 on December 9th on Fletchers beach and one big skate egg case was found (Figure 22). In 2008, the first survey, Survey 6, was done on January 18th and 14 big skate egg cases and four longnose skate egg cases were found (Figure 23). Surveys 7 and 8 were both done on February 4th and the Survey 7 along South beach found two longnose skate egg cases and Survey 8 from Long beach to Combers beach found one longnose egg case (Figure 23).

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 19. Skate egg case survey areas for the five surveys conducted from February to December in 2007.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Figure 20. Skate egg case survey areas for the three surveys conducted from January to February in 2008.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Longnose skate

Spotted ratfish

Big skate

Figure 21. Three egg case species found and identified during the egg case surveys.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Survey 1 Long beach north, February 15, 2007

Survey 2 Long beach north, April 27, 2007

Survey 3 Long beach, May 2, 2007

Survey 5 Fletchers beach, December 9, 2007

Figure 22. Survey areas and skate egg case species and locations for surveys conducted in 2007. Survey 4 was not included because there were no egg cases found.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Survey 6 Long beach north, January 18, 2008

Survey 7 South beach, February 4, 2008

Survey 8 Long beach, February 4, 2008

Figure 23. Survey areas and skate egg case species and locations for surveys conducted in 2008.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

5. Discussion

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Species (COSEWIC) assessed nine elasmobranch species with ranges extending into the marine waters adjacent to and within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR). COSEWIC listed basking shark as endangered, the bluntnose sixgill and tope shark were listed as special concern, the brown cat shark, blue shark and great white shark were listed as data deficient, and the big, longnose and sandpaper skate species were listed as not at risk. In this study, historical and current locations were recorded for all of these species, except the brown cat shark (Figures 5 to 11). Seven of the nine species had records that occurred in waters within and adjacent to PRNPR, records for brown cat shark and the sandpaper skate were absent. However, the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) did have historical records for all three skate species, including the sandpaper skate in waters surrounding Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR). In addition, RBCM also had bluntnose sixgill and tope sharks records for GINPR. Historical elasmobranch locations were most easily accessible in local areas through direct contact with individuals living in the community. The same was true for current elasmobranch observations. Local sportfisher surveys provided the more information on current elasmobranch locations than any other method employed. Consequently, to obtain both behavioural and current location information on elasmobranchs I recommend continuing interview style surveys with local residents, specifically sportfishers working on the water. Posted notices with email and phone numbers were good tools to raise awareness of the project and generated around twenty individual inquiries about the project. However, the majority of the current observations were recorded during surveys and notices provided a good project introduction during these surveys.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Interview data accuracy was lower than direct observations because exact location information and species confirmation was not always available. Therefore, a knowledgeable and experienced interviewer who asked sufficient and descriptive questions was essential and repeat interviews with the same individuals also created a rapport between the surveyor and the interviewee. Sportfisher surveys should also be done at different times of the years to ensure inclusion of all species observations (Figure 14). The fishing season occurs roughly between May and September with a higher number of fishers and sharks occurring in July and August. Consequently, surveys should be done once a month in May, June and September and weekly to biweekly in July and August. In 2007 nine elasmobranch species were recorded in waters adjacent to and within PRNPR (Figure 13). Of these nine species, five were assessed by COSEWIC including the big skate, blue shark, great white shark, bluntnose sixgill shark, and tope shark. A multi-species analysis of elasmobranch densities showed the highest number of elasmobranch observations in 2007 occurred on La Perouse and Swiftsure banks (Figure 17). These observations were made mainly by sportfishers and therefore occur in areas where they also fish. Areas where halibut are fished were also areas where big skates were caught and areas where salmon trolling occurred are also areas where shark species were found. This is partly a reflection of observer location bias. However, all of these species: salmon, sharks, halibut and skates, are usually seen in these areas actively feeding and therefore these location may also reflect areas of high prey densities. Overall, sportfisher provided a valuable source of elasmobranch location data and future research could train sportfisher guides on species identification and recording precise location information. In addition, sportfishers could also be trained to report observations of other marine

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

SAR listed species such as Northern and Southern resident killer whales, leatherback turtles, sea otters, and humpback whales. A total of eight skate egg case surveys were also conducted in 2007 and 2008 in the Long Beach unit of PRNPR (Figures 18 and 19). Overall, big and longnose skate egg cases were found most abundantly on the beaches, as well as few spotted ratfish egg cases (Figure 21). Although other skate species are known to occur along the west coast of Vancouver Island, their egg cases were not found during these surveys. However, the smaller longnose skate egg cases can be very difficult to distinguish between other local skate species (Ebert and Davis 2007). Consequently, all egg cases were photographed and any egg case about identity of which I was uncertain, was sent to Dr. David Ebert at the Pacific Shark Research Center in Moss Landing, California. Dr. Ebert confirmed species ID; in this case that all the cases belonged to the longnose skate (Raja rhina). Therefore, a total of two skate species were found during this study. Big skates deposit eggs throughout the year and longnose skates do not have a known breeding season (Ebert 2003). However, on Long beach skate egg cases are found most frequently from January to May and Long beach north had the highest number of egg cases (Figures 21 and 22). Therefore, if time is limited an effective skate egg case monitoring program should occur in February along Long beach north. Additionally, skate egg case surveys are cost effective and a relatively straightforward method to collect data on skate species that exist in the coastal waters of PRNPR. Incorporating community knowledge and Aboriginal traditional knowledge has also been identified as an important component of the COSEWIC assessment process (COSEWIC 2008). Future studies should obtain valuable elasmobranch information through First Nations Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Vancouver Island has a rich and diverse First Nations

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

community whose connection with the surrounding marine environment is equally as rich and diverse. Interviews with First Nations elders would add to the understanding and history of elasmobranch species surrounding Vancouver Island, including PRNPR and GINPR. Additional local ecological knowledge could also be collected from past newspaper articles and fishing magazines. Scott Wallace and Brian Gisborne used this type of information to recount historical basking shark abundance and distribution data (Wallace and Gisborne 2006). Sharks tend to be newsworthy items and local community newspapers could add species-specific historical abundance and distribution data of SAR listed elasmobranch species. The involvement of local community members in this project facilitated the need to communicate project updates and results to ensure project support and provide a foundation on which to build further relationships. Specifically, I contributed to PRNPR’s community updates column in the local Westerly newspaper. Three different articles were written on different components of the project in February, August and September 2007. Articles on the project were also written for the spring 2007 and 2008 Tour Operator Bulletin for PRNPR and the Coastal BC Field Unit 2007 fall Tidelines newsletter. Also, I gave two ten-minute radio interviews about the project to CBC radio for “On the Island” with Gregor Craigie on September 6, 2007 on sharks and February 15, 2008 on skates. Communication and feedback with local communities was an essential component of this project integral for relationship building and continued engagement with the local community for this and future projects.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

6. Future Recommendations •

Work with local First Nations communities to compile historical records of sharks and skates from First Nations Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Develop and deliver a training workshop for sportfishing guides on elasmobranch identification and reporting

Interview-style surveys on local community docks were the most effective method to collect information on elasmobranch sightings

Continue to conduct skate egg case surveys in February in Long beach north to get a snapshot of skate species diversity and relative abundance in the waters of PRNPR

Develop a pamphlet that highlights sharks and skates found at PRNPR and their ecological importance to increase public awareness about this group and Species at Risk

Employ a variety of communication tools to report back to the local community on project results and updates including local newspaper articles, radio interviews, internet websites, community presentations, make the final report available to interested community members

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

7. Literature cited

Baum, J. K., R. A. Myers, D. G. Kehler, B. Worm, S. J. Harley and P. A. Doherty (2003) Collapse and Conservation of Shark Population in the Northwest Atlantic. Science 299:389-392. Beyer H. (2006) Hawth’s Tools on-line help documentation. Beyer, H. (2005) ArcGIS Desktop Discussion Conference.
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=995&t=160417#469236

Collyer, M., J. L. Yakimishyn and H. Holmes (2007) Integration of Habitat Needs of Species at Risk in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada, Report One; Compiling and Mapping Observations. SARRAEF COSEWIC (February 2008) About COSEWIC, Incorporating Community Knowledge into COSEWIC Assessment Process. http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct6/sct6_7_e.cfm COSEWIC (February 2007) COSEWIC Status Reports in Preparation.
http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct2/sct2_4_e.cfm

CITES (February 2007) Appendices I, II and III. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.shtml Ebert, D. A. and C. D. Davis (2007) Description of skate egg cases (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes: Rajoidei) from the eastern North Pacific. Zootaxa 1393:1-18. Ebert, D. A. (2003) Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras of California. Los Angeles: University of California Press ESRI (2005) ArcGIS v 9.1 desktop GIS Mapping software.
http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/about/desktop.html

Huber, W. (2003) ArcGIS Desktop Discussion Conference.
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=995&t=97678#272387

IUCN (February 2007) 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.iucnredlist.org/ FishBase (February 2007) http://www.fishbase.org/search.php Myers, R. A., J. K. Baum, T. D. Shepherd, S. P. Powers and C. H. Peterson (2007) Cascading effects of the loss of apex predatory sharks from a coastal ocean. Science 315:1846-1850. O'Sullivan, D. and W. Huber (2003) Algorithm for kernel density estimation in Spatial Analyst. ESRI ArcGIS Desktop - Extension - Spatial Analyst Discussion Forum.
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=995&t=98735#277890

Seaman, D. E., and R. A. Powell (1996) An evaluation of the accuracy of kernel density estimators for home range analysis. Ecology 77: 2075–2085.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Silverman, B. W. (1986). Density Estimation for Statistics and Data Analysis. London: Chapman and Hall. Wallace, S. (2007) Personal Communication Wallace S. and B. Gisborne (2006) Basking Sharks: The Slaughter of BC’S Gentle Giants. Vancouver: New Star Books Worton, B. J. (1989) Kernel Methods for Estimating the Utilization Distribution in Home-Range Studies. Ecology 70:164-168.

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Appendix 1 - Report a Shark Skate or Ray Poster

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Report a Shark, Skate or Ray
Sharks, skates and rays are cartilaginous marine fish that inhabit coastal waters of British Columbia. Knowledge of these species is very limited because they are highly mobile, elusive and long-lived. We hope to fill in knowledge gaps of this group of marine fish and you can help! If you catch a shark or skate while fishing or see one washed in on a beach we want to hear from you. Here are some steps you can take quickly and with little equipment. Note if a beached shark is alive or shows any responsiveness - do NOT touch it. Take a photo if you can and report it to the email address or phone number below. If you happen to catch the shark while fishing please take a photo and release the animal alive.

Essential information: o Record date, time and location including GPS coordinates (if possible) o Length from tip of nose to tip of tail (use your foot length if no equipment is available) o Sex – males have claspers o Any marks, injuries or fishing gear that suggests how the animal may have died Photograph: o Whole animal, preferably the SIDE view (include hand or foot for scale) o Underside of the head and under the pectoral fins o Underside of the pelvic fins (verifies shark’s sex) o Teeth, close-up (verifies species identification)

Please contact Jennifer Yakimishyn or Tanya Dowdall at the Pacific Rim National Park Warden Office to report your finding.

Report a Shark, Skate or Ray:
Phone: (250) 726-7165 ext. 224 Email: shark_reports_bc@yahoo.ca

Side photo of a tope shark found beached on Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Dorsal photo of a big skate found beached in Bamfield Inlet

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Appendix 2 - Elasmobranch Survey Form

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Date and location of survey:
Reporting person/ Contact info Date/Time Location Lat/Long Habitat Species Photo Description (colour, size, marks, sex, age) Behaviour Comments

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Appendix 3 - Photographs of Elasmobranch Records

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Broadnose sevengill shark caught in 2006 by sportfishers on the northwest corner of Swiftsure bank off the West Coast Trail of PRNPR. (Photo credit: Mark Banning)

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Big skate washed up on Combers beach on August 29, 2007. (Photo credit: Jennifer Yakimishyn)

Spiny dogfish washed up in Florencia bay on September 13, 2007. (Photo credit: Billy Wilton)

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Juvenile salmon shark washed up on the West Coast Trail near Carmanah lighthouse on June 27, 2007. (Photo credit: Natalie Verrier)

Juvenile salmon shark washed up on the West Coast Trail near Carmanah lighthouse on August 23, 2007. (Photo credit: Robin Clugston)

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Multi-Species Inventory of Sharks and Skates (Elasmobranchs) in PRNPR – 2007-08

Tope shark washed up on Long Beach on October 6, 2007. (Photo credit: Ben Alderman)

Tope shark washed up on Pachena bay on October 4, 2007. (Photo credit: Kyle Nguyen)

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