Diving deeper into the underlying white shark behaviors at Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Marc Aquino-Baleytó, Vianey Leos-Barajas, Timo Adam, Mauricio Hoyos-Padilla, Omar Santana-Morales, Felipe Galván-Magaña, Rogelio González-Armas, Christopher G. Lowe, James T. Ketchum, Héctor Villalobos

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Fine-scale movement patterns are driven by both biotic (hunting, physiological needs) and abiotic (environmental conditions) factors. The energy balance governs all movement-related strategic decisions. Marine environments can be better understood by considering the vertical component. From 24 acoustic trackings of 10 white sharks in Guadalupe Island, this study linked, for the first time, horizontal and vertical movement data and inferred six different behavioral states along with movement states, through the use of hidden Markov models, which allowed to draw a comprehensive picture of white shark behavior. Traveling was the most frequent state of behavior for white sharks, carried out mainly at night and twilight. In contrast, area-restricted searching was the least used, occurring primarily in daylight hours. Time of day, distance to shore, total shark length, and, to a lesser extent, tide phase affected behavioral states. Chumming activity reversed, in the short term and in a nonpermanent way, the behavioral pattern to a general diel vertical pattern.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8178
Number of pages18
JournalEcology and Evolution
VolumeEarly View
Early online date18 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Oct 2021


  • Bayesian inference
  • Behavioral states
  • Energy costs
  • Movement strategies
  • Telemetry


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  • Shark tracking data

    Aquino-Baleyto, M. (Contributor), Santana-Morales, O. (Contributor) & Hoyos-Padilla, M. (Contributor), Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, 1 Jan 2021


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