The grey nurse shark (GNS, Carcharias taurus) is one of Australia's most endangered species with only 1500 thought to remain within the east coast subpopulation. Accordingly, this subpopulation is listed under the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered.
Grey Nurse Shark Watch (GNS Watch) was launched in June 2011 and is a citizen science research and monitoring program that aims to use the data obtained through our community volunteers and research team to improve the conservation management of the GNS in Australia and to help the Critically Endangered east coast population to recover.
The GNS Watch program uses visual counts and photographs of GNS collected opportunistically throughout the year and during two annual scheduled surveys to photo-identify and photo-recapture individual sharks (from the unique spot patterns on the sides of each shark).
GNS Watch seeks, collates, analyses and reports on data provided by volunteers and researchers and aims to contribute to six of ten objectives in the 2014 National Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan) for this critically endangered species.