Spot the Leopard shark

Spot the leopard shark ( also known as zebra shark, Stegostoma fasciatum ) is a community-based monitoring program. Photographs of leopard sharks taken by divers allow scientist to monitor individual sharks and estimate the size of the population. Each leopard has a unique pattern that is used to indentify it. Your photo will be matched with the patterns in the database.

Why contribute

Contributing photos wil help scientists understand more about leopard sharks.

  • How many induviduals are there in the area ?
  • How far do they travel ?
  • How long do they live ?
  • Do marine reserves support greater numbers ?

By helping scientist, your photos can help with the conservation of this amazing shark !

How to contribute

  • Follow the Diving with leopard sharks code of conduct
  • Take a photo of the entire left side and then right side of the shark
  • Note the sex of the shark - males have external claspers ( modified pelvic fins 0
  • Note the date, time , location and depth
  • Upload the photo and information to the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SpotTheLeopardShark

 Spot the leopard shark indentification

Spot the leopard shark female male

Diving with leopard sharks code of conduct      

  • Approach calmly and maintain good buoyancy control.
  • Approach from the tail end.
  • Rest on knees in the sand if necessary and be aware of surrounding reef.
  • Stay at least 3 meters away from the shark.
  • Always move around the tail and end of the shark.
  • Be courteous to other divers and restrict your interaction time to 5 minutes when other groups are present.  
  • Avoid using excess flash.
  • Limit yourself to 5 shots.

DON'T DO

  • Approach the shark from the head end.
  • Block the shark's escape route at the head end
  • Brace against or stand on reef habiatats to view or photograph the shark.
  • Touch the shark or chase them while swimming.