Aussie scientists stunned after tagged tiger shark travels over 4000km

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SYDNEY, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Scientists tracking shark movements along Australia's Great Barrier Reef have been left stunned on Monday, after it was revealed that one of the predators traveled over 4000km to Papua New Guinea.

Studying the creatures in order to get a better understanding of their habitat, researchers at James Cook University's Biopixel Oceans Foundation have tagged a total of 16 tiger sharks in the research program, as well as a handful of other species.

Although tiger sharks are known to swim a long way north, the team were baffled to find that one of the animals -- a 2.5 meter tiger shark named Zuza, first tracked 15 months ago -- had journeyed all the way to Port Moresby.

"We are very excited to follow Zuza's movements," Biopixel researcher Richard Fitzpatrick told the Cairns Post. "(But) we don't yet have enough data to draw conclusions."

"That's why continuing this research is important. We need to understand sharks' behaviour, so we can better manage interactions in their environment."

With the cutting edge technology expected to provide new and vital information about how to protect the near-threatened species, Fitzpatrick said the tracking process can often be arduous.

"Satellite tagging is difficult, because we only get a signal when the shark's dorsal fin is out of the water," he said.

"Also, in this part of the world, satellites are only overhead for about 30 percent of the time." Enditem

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