ID The Leopard Shark
About leopard sharks.
Leopard sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum – also known as Zebra Sharks) are a species carpet shark found throughout the Indo-West Pacific. Often found sleeping on sandy bottom they are completely harmless to people and are considered a key species for marine eco-tourism. Unfortunately, like many other species of shark, populations of Leopard sharks have suffered severe declines and in 2016 they were downgraded to Endangered by the IUCN.
ID the Leopard Shark
ID the Leopard Shark - Mozambique is a brand new community based project launched in Tofo. Individual leopard sharks have a unique spot pattern, just like a fingerprint. Photographs of these spot patterns can help determine information about key habitats, population demographics and longevity.
Populations of Leopard shark in Africa have been stated as data deficient by the IUCN. It is vital to find out more about the status of Leopard sharks in this area and identify their key habitats in order for them to receive the appropriate protection.
How you can help?
It’s easy to be involved – all you have to do is submit any photos of leopard sharks that you have from Mozambican waters with information on where and when you took them.
In addition to the location and date, information on the size, sex, depth and water temperature is also really useful.
Simply upload your pictures to
www.facebook.com/idtheleopardshark. Like the Facebook page to receive updates with information on your sighting. If it is a new sighting, you also have the opportunity to name it!
Code of Conduct
We also encourage divers to abide by a Code of Conduct to avoid scaring the shark and interfering with the habitat.
Approach calmly, slowly and maintain good buoyancy.
Stay at least 3 meters away from the shark.
Avoid using excess flash.
Limit yourself to 5 shots
Damage reef habitats to view or photograph shark.
Touch the shark or chase them while swimming.
Block the shark’s escape route