It's a truth (pretty much) universally acknowledged that there's only one thing more exciting than sharks: precious little baby sharks.
Which is why conservationists and scientists alike are stoked about the most recent discovery of a sand tiger shark nursery off the coast of Long Island. Only a "handful" of these nurseries have been located, according to a statement from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
According to the WCF, their researchers have collected "a wealth of information" on New York sharks in the last four years by using "acoustic tags" that allow the scientists to track their migratory patterns. The data from those tags also clued them in to the nursery area in the Great South Bay area of Long Island.
In the statement accompanying the video of Long Island sharks being tagged, the WCS wrote:
Data gathered from the sharks’ movements are helping scientists learn more about the migratory behavior of sand tiger sharks and their habitat needs. The discovery of the Great South Bay shark nursery in particular is important because the sand tiger shark has been heavily depleted by fishing and is listed as a “Species of Concern” by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service. Fishing for sand tiger sharks has been prohibited in state and federal waters since 1997.
While this is an awesome, hopeful sign for the future of the species, the WCF writes that the sand tiger shark population will still take a while to rebuild as the species has a low reproductive rate, with its females giving birth to "only one or two pups every two years."
However, they say that "protecting the nursery will help promote sand tiger shark recovery in the coastal waters of the eastern United States."