Conservation of large marine animals, such as whales and sea turtles, which migrate thousands of kilometers, is limited by poor understanding of where they travel and how they use habitats. Most research to date has concentrated on megafauna movements within national exclusive economic zones, largely ignoring the high seas, which make up two-thirds of the global ocean, leaving vast knowledge gaps. Ana M.M. Sequeira will identify important biodiversity areas and key threats to marine megafauna at a global scale to inform conservation priorities and improve protection of these species.
For this project, Sequeira will collaborate with a large network of researchers to compile available tracking data on these animals and define standards to enable the integration of these global datasets. She will develop computer models and GIS mapping to analyze these datasets and identify critical areas used by marine megafauna species for feeding, breeding, and other essential life cycle activities. By combining these results with available data on threats, such as fishing, shipping, pollution, and ocean warming, Sequeira will be able to detect megafauna hot spots on the high seas.
She aims to identify and classify threats to different species groups to better inform various international bodies now considering conservation on the high seas. This work will advance the long-term conservation of large marine animals by enabling more targeted protection efforts and engaging a global network of ecologists who are already contributing to research and monitoring of these species.
To learn more about Sequeira, read her bio: https://research-repository.uwa.edu.au/en/persons/ana-martins-sequeira