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Article Dans Une Revue Scientific Reports Année : 2023

Provisioning ecotourism does not increase tiger shark site fidelity


Abstract A perennial criticism of provisioning ecotourism is that it alters the natural behavior and ecology of the target species by providing an artificial food source. Here we evaluate its impact on the long-term site fidelity patterns of tiger sharks in French Polynesia. We hypothesized that a significant impact of provisioning would lead to (1) increases in individual site fidelity over time, and (2) an increase in the number of resident individuals over time. Of 53 individuals photo-identified and monitored during > 500 dives over five years, 10 individuals accounted for > 75% of all sightings, whereas 35 sharks were sighted very infrequently. Even the most frequently observed tiger sharks exhibited overall low fidelity at the site and showed no increase in site fidelity over time. Furthermore, the number of tiger sharks sighted during each dive did not increase. The observed patterns of tiger shark sightings were best explained by natural movements, including general roaming within home ranges along the coastline and seasonal migrations. Despite the apparent lack of impact of provisioning ecotourism on tiger shark ecology in Tahitian waters, it would be prudent to implement a strict code of conduct during any future provisioning activities to maximize the safety of participants and animals involved.
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hal-04163909 , version 1 (26-10-2023)



Clémentine Séguigne, Michel Bègue, Carl Meyer, Johann Mourier, Éric Clua. Provisioning ecotourism does not increase tiger shark site fidelity. Scientific Reports, 2023, 13 (1), pp.7785. ⟨10.1038/s41598-023-34446-8⟩. ⟨hal-04163909⟩
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