African Zoology

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First assessment of estuarine space use and home range of juvenile white steenbras, Lithognathus lithognathus

R.H. Bennett, A-R. Childs, P.D. Cowley, T.F. Næsje, E.B. Thorstad, F. Økland


The spatial dynamics and home range sizes of early juvenile white steenbras (Lithognathus lithognathus Cuvier, 1829) in the permanently open Great Fish Estuary, South Africa, were assessed using acoustic telemetry. Seven individuals (154–184 mm fork length) tagged with acoustic transmitters spent the majority of their time in the mesohaline to oligohaline regions of the estuary, between five and seven kilometres from the mouth. Mean home range size was small (97 399 ± 22 557 m2, mean ± S.D.) relative to the size of the estuary (approx. 1 360 000m2). Mean length of the estuary used by an individual was 1707m(±S.D.=1663 m). The fish were highly resident within the estuary, and showed fidelity towards their site of capture.

Key words: acoustic telemetry, estuarine fish, Great Fish Estuary, South Africa, Sparidae.
AJOL African Journals Online