Lionfish as an invasive species Roatan Marine Park is working in coordination with NOAA,  USGS, the Nature Conservancy and...
Lionfish and the Roatan Marine Park <ul><li>What are Lionfish? </li></ul><ul><li>Where did they come from? </li></ul><ul><...
The Location of The Roatan Marine Park, a big picture
Honduras
Where is the Marine Park  situated? Lawson Rock Key Hole Boundaries extend from the high water mark down to 60m, between K...
Programs <ul><li>Patrols </li></ul><ul><li>Marine Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Marine Education </li></ul><ul><li>Alte...
Coral devastation pre-lionfish invasion
What are Lionfish? <ul><li>Anatomy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Venomous dorsal  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ventral and anal spin...
Lionfish <ul><li>Biological Classification </li></ul><ul><li>Kingdom  – Animalia (all the animals) </li></ul><ul><li>Phylu...
Lionfish Identification <ul><li>Identification:  Lionfish have distinctive red, maroon, and white stripes or bands coverin...
Lionfish Habitat <ul><li>Lionfish are primarily associated with  coral reefs , but can be found in warm marine waters of t...
Lionfish Behavior <ul><li>Lionfish are thought to be nocturnal hunters, but they have been found with full stomachs during...
Lionfish <ul><li>Behaviour </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Will binge eat until supply of fish has run out </li></ul></ul></ul><...
Lionfish Native Range <ul><li>The South Pacific and Indian Oceans (i.e., the Indo-Pacific region). The range of the lionfi...
Where did they come from? <ul><ul><ul><li>Native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Firs...
Where did they come from? <ul><li>2003 </li></ul>
Their movement
An updated map
Lionfish Video <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNbKjiUCGRU </li></ul>
Why are they a problem? <ul><li>Eating habits </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voracious predators </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><u...
Why are they a problem? <ul><li>No natural predators in the Caribbean </li></ul><ul><li>Bahamas </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>...
Lionfish sighting frequency over time done surveys in two regions of the tropical Atlantic , by REEF Organization
Lionfish sighting frequency done by REEF Organization, fish surveys at New Providence, Bahamas
A picture taken in the Bahamas after the invasion
What can we do about it? <ul><li>Eradication is impossible </li></ul><ul><li>Keep dive sites as free of Lionfish as possib...
Internship with Guilford Biology Students? <ul><li>Some activities would include </li></ul><ul><li>Lionfish collection, GP...
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Lionfish Program Presentation

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Lionfish Program Presentation

  1. 1. Lionfish as an invasive species Roatan Marine Park is working in coordination with NOAA, USGS, the Nature Conservancy and REEF organization in order to control the Lionfish invasion in Honduras
  2. 2. Lionfish and the Roatan Marine Park <ul><li>What are Lionfish? </li></ul><ul><li>Where did they come from? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are they a problem? </li></ul><ul><li>What can we do about it? </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Location of The Roatan Marine Park, a big picture
  4. 4. Honduras
  5. 5. Where is the Marine Park situated? Lawson Rock Key Hole Boundaries extend from the high water mark down to 60m, between Key Hole and Lawson Rock. On the western point of the island, incorporating 13km of coastline.
  6. 6. Programs <ul><li>Patrols </li></ul><ul><li>Marine Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Marine Education </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative Living program </li></ul><ul><li>Watershed Management programs </li></ul><ul><li>Lionfish Project </li></ul>
  7. 7. Coral devastation pre-lionfish invasion
  8. 8. What are Lionfish? <ul><li>Anatomy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Venomous dorsal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ventral and anal spines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resistant to parasites </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Lionfish <ul><li>Biological Classification </li></ul><ul><li>Kingdom – Animalia (all the animals) </li></ul><ul><li>Phylum – Chordata (animals with a spinal cord) </li></ul><ul><li>Subphylum – Vertebrata (animals with backbones) </li></ul><ul><li>Class – Actinopterygii ( ray -finned fishes) </li></ul><ul><li>Order – Scorpaeniformes (scorpion fishes and sculpins) </li></ul><ul><li>Family – Scorpaenidae ( firefishes, goblinfishes, rockfishes, and scorpionfishes) </li></ul><ul><li>Genus – Pterois ( lionfishes, turkeyfishes, and zebrafishes ) </li></ul><ul><li>Species – volitans (meaning volatile or poisonous) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Lionfish Identification <ul><li>Identification: Lionfish have distinctive red, maroon, and white stripes or bands covering the head and body. Their body is 1.5 times the length of the head, with a total size range of 6 -12 inches. They have fleshy tentacles above their eyes and below the mouth; fan-like pectoral fins ; long, separated dorsal spines; 13 dorsal spines; 10-11 dorsal soft rays ; 3 anal spines; and 6-7 anal soft rays . An adult lionfish can grow as large as 18 inches, while juveniles may be as small as 1 inch or less. Lionfish have cycloid scales . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Lionfish Habitat <ul><li>Lionfish are primarily associated with coral reefs , but can be found in warm marine waters of the tropics. Lionfish have been found in water depths from 85 to 260 feet on hard bottom, coral reefs and artificial substrate (like sunken ships). They tend to glide along the rocks or coral during the night and hide under ledges or in crevices during the day. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Lionfish Behavior <ul><li>Lionfish are thought to be nocturnal hunters, but they have been found with full stomachs during the day in the Atlantic. </li></ul><ul><li>They move about by slowly undulating the soft rays of the dorsal and anal fins . </li></ul><ul><li>During the day, they often retreat to ledges and crevices among the rocks and corals. Although in the Atlantic, lionfish are often seen moving about during the day, both alone and in groups of 2-6. </li></ul><ul><li>They may live alone for the majority of their lives, and will fiercely defend their home ranges from other lionfish and other species of fish. </li></ul><ul><li>However, they may live in small groups when they are juveniles and during the spawning season. Male lionfish are more aggressive than females, especially during the mating season. </li></ul><ul><li>Males will aggressively attack other males who attempt to invade their territory. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Lionfish <ul><li>Behaviour </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Will binge eat until supply of fish has run out </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stomach can expand to 30 times its regular size </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One study showed a Lionfish eat 20 fish in 30 minutes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can survive for 12 weeks with no food </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Breeding </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Female release 2 egg sacks which males fertilize </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>30,000 eggs are produced at a time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In the Caribbean females can reproduce every 30 days </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lionfish larvae will drift just below the surface for 25-40 days before settling on the reef </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indo-pacific Lionfish breed once a year, the Caribbean Lionfish breed several time a year </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Lionfish Native Range <ul><li>The South Pacific and Indian Oceans (i.e., the Indo-Pacific region). The range of the lionfish covers a very large area from western Australia and Malaysia east to French Polynesia and the United Kingdom’s Pitcairn Islands, north to southern Japan and southern Korea and south to Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia and the Kermadec Islands of New Zealand. In between, the species is found throughout Micronesia. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Where did they come from? <ul><ul><ul><li>Native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>First reported at Biscayne Bay, Florida, in 1992 following Hurricane Andrew </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Where did they come from? <ul><li>2003 </li></ul>
  17. 17. Their movement
  18. 18. An updated map
  19. 19. Lionfish Video <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNbKjiUCGRU </li></ul>
  20. 20. Why are they a problem? <ul><li>Eating habits </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voracious predators </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Juvenile Nassau Grouper have been found in Lionfish stomachs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do not discriminate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Will eat fish and crustaceans including juvenile lobster, grouper, parrotfish. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Why are they a problem? <ul><li>No natural predators in the Caribbean </li></ul><ul><li>Bahamas </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 st sighting in 2004 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2005, 16 more sightings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now 390 per hectare </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A study in 2008 showed that Lionfish were responsible for reducing the population of juvenile fish on a reef by 79% </li></ul>
  22. 22. Lionfish sighting frequency over time done surveys in two regions of the tropical Atlantic , by REEF Organization
  23. 23. Lionfish sighting frequency done by REEF Organization, fish surveys at New Providence, Bahamas
  24. 24. A picture taken in the Bahamas after the invasion
  25. 25. What can we do about it? <ul><li>Eradication is impossible </li></ul><ul><li>Keep dive sites as free of Lionfish as possible to provide a safe haven for other fish </li></ul><ul><li>We need to be the main predator </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>EAT THEM!! </li></ul><ul><li>What are other countries doing about it? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Internship with Guilford Biology Students? <ul><li>Some activities would include </li></ul><ul><li>Lionfish collection, GPS tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining database </li></ul><ul><li>Taking fish samples and doing research on their stomachs as well as female fish studies on re-population and growth </li></ul><ul><li>Their effect on the reef including other fish populations </li></ul>

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