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Hammerhead sharks in Galapagos marked to study route through the Pacific

March 11, 2020

Five young hammerhead sharks in the marine reserve of the Galapagos National Park (PNG) were marked with acoustic trackers that will allow researchers to know their movements, the institution said Tuesday.

The Migramar acoustic marks will help “collect information on the migratory patterns of this species along the Eastern Pacific, when sharks pass through the areas where the receivers are installed,” the park said in a statement.

The network of receivers extends from the United States to Chile, and passes through protected areas of Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. The Ocean Blue Tree organization also participated in the shark identification work.

The five marked animals, which exceed one year of age, are about to leave a natural refuge of the species in the northwest of Santa Cruz Island and will begin their journey through the ocean.

Hammerhead sharks are threatened by fishing. Their slow growth and low reproductive capacity also put the species at risk of extinction

The hammerhead shark seedbed in Santa Cruz was discovered in 2018 within the Galapagos marine reserve, the second largest in the world at 133,000 km2 and in which more than 2,900 marine species have been reported.

“Through the acoustic marks, we will be able to know what these species do when they leave their safe places. Possibly they cross other islands of the archipelago or even circumvent the East Pacific,” said Eduardo Espinoza, park ranger of the Galapagos National Park, in statements released by the institution.

The Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific at 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast, have one of the most fragile ecosystems with unique flora and fauna in the world.

The archipelago, which takes its name from the giant turtles that inhabit it, served as a laboratory for the English naturalist Charles Darwin to develop the theory of evolution.

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