|Smalltooth sawfish in the Everglades National Park.|
For sawfish populations to recover successfully, juvenile sawfish must make it through their first few years of life. Our work now includes the protection of important habitat areas for juveniles, in order to promote their survival. Over the last 5 years, we have been conducting scientific surveys to monitor smalltooth sawfish abundance and habitat use. We have also collected information on how environmental factors affect the number of sawfish present, and how extreme weather events may lead to recruitment failure - years when juvenile sawfish do not survive. Earlier studies showed that sheltered, shallow, mangrove areas are used as nursery habitats. We have also found that the daily activity spaces of juvenile sawfish are small, meaning that they do not move large distances as young fish. However, they seem to gradually expand their area of activity during their first year of growth.
Learn more about the team here: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/fish/smalltoothsawfish.htm