Sentinel species are key elements of the natural environment and can tell us a great deal about how it works. Much of our sentinel species research focusses on large, highly mobile species, many of which are top-level predators. Using a variety of cutting-edge research techniques, we are able to build a detailed picture of how these important animals use Marine Protected Areas and the seas beyond the borders.
Our scientists are answering important questions about how these animals provide connections between different, seemingly isolated habitats. For example, seabirds forage for food in the open ocean miles from their island nests, and some species of shark and ray travel huge distances between different reefs and atolls during their lifetime.
By better understanding how these animals use the reserves, researchers are able to work out how the reserve protects them – and importantly their findings will provide suggestions about how Marine Protected Areas can be improved and be made more effective.