A recent study published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series has identified the presence of two distinct white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) populations in Australia’s waters, according to a Phys.Org article. The study compared tissues samples from 97 “predominantly juvenile” Australian white sharks. The data from the tissues samples were used in conjunction with tracking data acquired through acoustic and satellite tags.
The study determined that the genetic makeup of white sharks found on Australia’s western seaboard differed from those found on the eastern seaboard. Data from the the white sharks sampled in the study implied that the sharks return to their geographical birth regions to breed, a behavior known as reproductive philopatry. The results of the tissue analyses were “broadly consistent” with tracking data from tagged sharks, which showed that white sharks from the western population tended not to travel east and vice versa.