Movement Ranges of Marine Species – A Meta-Analysis of the National Database for Acoustic Monitoring

Dr Andre Steckenreuter (1), Xavier Hoenner (2), Katherine Tattersall (2), Victor Peddemors (3), Colin Simpfendorfer (4), Michelle Heupel (4,5,) Russ Babcock (6), Richard Pillans (6), Hamish Campbell (7), Alistair Hobday (8), Ross Dwyer (9), Mario Espinoza (4), Amy Smoothey (3), Robert Harcourt (10)

1 IMOS Animal Tracking Facility, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, 19 Chowder Bay Rd, Mosman, NSW 2088, Australia

2 Integrated Marine Observing System, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 110, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia

3 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, 24 Chowder Bay Road, Mosman, NSW 2088, Australia

4 Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture & College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook

University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia

5 Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB No 3, Townsville, QLD 4810, Australia

6 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, PO Box 2583, GPO Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia

7 School of Environmental & Rural Science Natural Resources Building, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia

8 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, TAS 7000, Australia

9 EcoLab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia

10 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia


Species’ movement ranges may provide important baseline data for scientists to strategically plan investigations aiming to create a bigger picture of a species’ biology and ecology as well as its ecosystem function. Management agencies in turn may benefit by using this information to detect ecological shifts over time and to adjust management strategies accordingly. Applications of climate driven species redistribution are diverse and may include long-term monitoring of climate change, fisheries management, tourism, marine park monitoring, and conservation measures. The IMOS Animal Tracking Facility (AATAMS) is part of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), a national, collaborative research infrastructure program. IMOS’ research facilities generate publicly available data streams including climate variability and biological responses. The AATAMS national database is a repository and data storage facility built through collaboration between the IMOS—AATAMS community. Each collaborating project provides information on marine species in pelagic, coastal, and estuarine ecosystems and their temporal and spatial movements. Currently, the database incorporates deployed receivers at over 2000 locations nationwide with more than 4000 tagged animals that have generated over 65 million tag detections. To date, 85 species covering five marine taxa have been tagged including crustaceans, chondrichthyes, osteichthyes, marine reptiles, and marine mammals. Two examples, bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) and southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii), are presented to demonstrate how the AATAMS database provides a platform for meta-analyses regarding movement ranges of species. In the IMOS Ocean Portal those data subsets can be overlayed with oceanographic and meteorological data streams collated by other IMOS facilities.