In September, The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) granted more than $5 million in conservation grants to nonprofit organizations as part of its commitment to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. FSUCML’s Dr. Dean Grubbs smalltooth sawfish research was one of more than 75 projects selected through a rigorous review process focused on supporting conservation organizations to study wildlife, protect habitats and develop community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems around the world.
The sawfishes are a small family of very large coastal rays with a long, toothed rostrum. All 5 species are Endangered or Critically Endangered making them perhaps the most endangered family of all marine fishes. In 2003, the smalltooth sawfish became the first native marine fish listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. For almost a decade, FSUCML scientists have been conducting research to aid recovery of smalltooth sawfish in Florida and the Bahamas, regions that may be “Lifeboats” for recovery of this species. Supported by the Save Our Seas Foundation, NOAA through the Northern Gulf Institute, and now the Disney Conservation Fund, we are currently unraveling the mysteries of smalltooth sawfish reproduction, determining what habitats are critical to their survival, and investigating ways to decrease sawfish mortality in commercial fisheries. Check out this Save Our Seas video supporting sawfish research. Learn more about the Disney Conservation Fund and how it is helping to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet by visiting https://disney.com/conservation.