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.
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
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.
- 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.