Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8777
Title: Applying species distribution modelling to a data poor, pelagic fish complex: the ocean sunfishes
Author: Natasha D. Phillips, Neil Reid, Tierney Thys, Chris Harrod, Nick Payne, C. A. Morgan, Hannah J. White, Siobhán Porter, Jonathan D.R. Houghton
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: Journal of Biogeography
Volume: Early view

Conservation management of vulnerable species requires detailed knowledge of their spatial and temporal distribution patterns.  Within this context species distribution modelling (SDM) can provide insights into the spatial ecology of rarely encountered species and is used here to explore the distribution pattern of ocean sunfishes (Mola mola and M. ramsayi).  Both species are prone to high levels of bycatch and are classified respectively as Globally Vulnerable and Not Assessed by the IUCN, although their overall range and drivers of distribution remain poorly defined.  Here we constructed suitable habitat models for Mola spp. on a global scale and considered how these change seasonally to provide a much needed baseline for future management.

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