Pavoraja nitida 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Arhynchobatidae

Scientific Name: Pavoraja nitida
Species Authority: (Günther, 1880)
Common Name(s):
English Peacock Skate, Roughback Skate, Graceful Skate, Shining Skate
Taxonomic Notes: First described member of the genus Pavoraja (Last and Stevens 1994).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-05-15
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Treloar, M.A.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Lawson, J.
Contributor(s): Walls, R.H.L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
The Peacock Skate (Pavoraja nitida) is a small (reaching at least 37 cm total length) Australian endemic skate occurring from northern New South Wales to the Great Australian Bight, including Tasmania. This species inhabits the continental shelf  and upper slope at depths of 75–450 m. It is reportedly the most abundant skate within its habitat and range. Not much is known about the biology of this species, but small skates are generally more productive than larger species. The Peacock Skate is a regular bycatch in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery and is always discarded, though no information is currently available on post-discard survival. Standardized catch-per-unit-effort data between 2001 and 2006 showed no trend and the population is considered stable. This species is assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Peacock Skate, an Australian endemic, occurs off southeast Australia from the Clarence River, New South Wales, to Eyre, Great Australian Bight, in Western Australia, including Tasmania (Last et al. 2008, Last and Steven 2009).

Countries occurrence:
Australia (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest
Lower depth limit (metres): 450
Upper depth limit (metres): 75
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Considered to be the most abundant skate on the continental shelf of southern Australia (Last and Stevens 2009). Standardized catch-per-unit-effort data from the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery between 2001 and 2006 showed no trend (Walker and Gason 2007).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This small skate occurs on the continental shelf and upper slope at depths of 75–450 m (Last and Stevens 2009). Females reach sexual maturity at 92% of their maximum total length (TL). Maximum size is at least 36.8 cm TL; the smallest mature male on record is 30.7 cm TL; and the smallest free-swimming juvenile is 8 cm TL (Last et al. 2008).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Not known to be utilized or traded; the species is too small to be retained and 100% of the catch monitored in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery between 2001 and 2006 was discarded (Walker and Gason 2007).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Peacock Skate is caught often as bycatch in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF), particularly in the Commonwealth Trawl and Great Australian Bight Trawl Sectors. The estimated annual catch between 2001 and 2006 was 70 tonnes with no trend in standardized catch-per-unit-effort; in this fishery the species is always discarded (Walker and Gason 2007), however nothing is known of post-discard survival rates.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are currently no species-specific conservation measures in place. Information is required on the biology of this species, as well as continued monitoring of this and other skates in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery given the high level of bycatch. The species may be afforded some refuge in marine protected areas of the Commonwealth Marine Reserve network.

Citation: Kyne, P.M. & Treloar, M.A. 2015. Pavoraja nitida. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T161370A68640573. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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