It’s always rewarding to see research translating into conservation actions and this week we are incredibly excited that the IUCN Important Shark and Ray Areas (ISRA) Western Indian Ocean e-Atlas is now available online, and proud that the Madagascar Whale Shark Project’s ongoing research in the region has contributed to the designation of ISRAs in Madagascar!
These areas are recognised as important habitats for one or more shark and ray species, and are a tool to guide the design and development of area-based conservation, including MPAs. Our long-term sightings and tagging datasets were instrumental in the designation of 2 ISRAs along the Madagascan coast– Nosy Be and Pointe d’Analalava, where four endangered species were highlighted: whale sharks, giant oceanic manta rays, spinetail devil rays and shorthorned pygmy devil rays. This was a massive team effort with colleagues from Wildlife Conservation Society, Marine Megafauna Foundation, Florida International University and IH.SM and the ISRA team.
You can consult the ISRAs e-atlas here: https://sharkrayareas.org/e-atlas/