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Carcharhinus leucas  (Müller & Henle, 1839)

Bull shark
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Carcharhinus leucas
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Australia country information

Common names: Bull shark, Estuary shark, Estuary whaler shark
Occurrence: native
Salinity: freshwater
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: of no interest | Ref: Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Found in Western Australia and Northern Territory, Queensland, and New South Wales including Lake Macquarie and Adelaide, Daly, Swan, Brisbane, Clarence, Herbert, and E. Alligator Rivers (Ref. 6871). Probably responsible for the attacks in and around Sydney Harbour (Ref. 6871). Also Ref. 244, 2334, 9997, 44894, 84364.
National Checklist:
Country Information: httpss://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html
National Fisheries Authority: https://www.csiro.au/
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens, 1994
National Database:

Classification / Names

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae (Requiem sharks)
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL

Common names from other countries

Main reference

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 360 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 85726); 400.0 cm TL (female); common length : 260 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9253); max. published weight: 316.5 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 32 years (Ref. 42004)

Length at first maturity
Lm 193.0, range 180 - 230 cm

Environment

Marine; freshwater; brackish; reef-associated; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 152 m (Ref. 30573), usually 1 - 30 m (Ref. 55183)

Climate / Range

Subtropical, preferred ?; 42°N - 39°S, 117°W - 170°W (Ref. 55182)

Distribution

Cosmopolitan in tropical and subtropical waters (Ref. 81283): widespread in warm oceans, rivers and lakes (Ref. 4716). Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA to Argentina (Ref. 58839); eastern Atlantic: Morocco, Senegal to Angola (Ref. 81283, 81623); Indo-Pacific: Kenya and South Africa to India, then, Viet Nam to Australia; southern Baja California, Mexico to Ecuador and possibly occurring in Peru. In freshwater it can be found in rivers of West Africa from Gambia River to Ogowe River (Ref. 81283). Sympatric with Carcharhinus amboinensis, Glyphis gangeticus.
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Short description

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. Diagnosis: Carcharhinus leucas is a massive shark with a short, broad and blunt snout, small eyes and triangular saw-edged upper teeth, and lack of interdorsal ridge, characters which are sufficient to distinguish this species (Ref. 26938).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A coastal and freshwater shark inhabiting shallow waters especially in bays, estuaries, rivers, and lakes (Ref. 244). It readily penetrates far up rivers and hypersaline bays and littoral lagoons (Ref. 9997, 44894, 81283). Capable of covering great distances (up to 180 kilometers in 24 hours), moving between fresh and brackish water at random (Ref. 44894). Adults often found near estuaries and freshwater inflows to the sea; young enter rivers and may be found hundreds of km from the sea (Ref. 4967, 44894, 58304). Feeds on bony fishes, other sharks, rays, mantis shrimps, crabs, squid, sea snails, sea urchins, mammalian carrion, sea turtles, and occasionally garbage (Ref. 244, 5578, 44894). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Gives birth to litters of up to 13 young (Ref. 26938, 44894). Size at birth is 56-81 cm TL (Ref. 81623). Sexual maturity is attained after 10-15 years (at a length between 160-200 centimeters) (Ref. 44894). Though not commercially important, this species is a good food fish (Ref. 12484). Utilized fresh, fresh-frozen or smoked for human consumption, fins for soup, hide for leather, liver for oil, and carcass for fishmeal (Ref. 244). Very hardy and lives well in captivity (Ref. 244). This large shark is potentially dangerous to man (Ref. 81283), probably the most dangerous species of tropical shark (Ref. 244), and it is repeatedly implicated in attacks on humans (Ref. 4967, 44894); attacks in fresh water are rare (Ref. 44894).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)



Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805)
PD50 = 0.5000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Trophic Level (Ref. 69278)
4.3   ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.

Resilience (Ref. 69278)
Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (K=0.04-0.08; tm=6-18; tmax=28)

Vulnerability (Ref. 59153)
Very high vulnerability (88 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Medium