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Pavoraja nitida

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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: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Treloar, M.A.
Reviewer(s): Notobartolo di Sciara, G., Stevens, J., Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
The Peacock Skate (Pavoraja nitida) is a small skate, endemic to Australia. It occurs on the continental shelf in depths of 30–390 m. Not much is known about the biology of this species, but females reach sexual maturity at 92% of their maximum total length. It is caught often as bycatch in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark fishery and is mostly discarded (81% in observed catch from ISMP data). No information is currently available on post-discard survival. Peacock Skate made up 19% of the skate catch in the South East Trawl Fishery from 1992 to 2003. In other areas, small species of skate have been shown to be more productive. However, because there are such large amounts of this small skate caught and females reach sexual maturity at 92% of their maximum total length, a continuing population decline of approaching 30% is inferred and therefore it is listed as Near Threatened (close to meeting the criteria for Vulnerable A4bd).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Australian endemic: occurs in southeastern Australia (including Tasmania) north to at least Newcastle (New South Wales) and west to Eyre (Great Australian Bight) (Last and Stevens 1994).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: An abundant species on the continental shelf of southern Australia (Last and Stevens 1994).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A small skate, occurring on the continental shelf in depths of 30–390 m. Females reach sexual maturity at 92% of their maximum total length. Although no ageing studies have been conducted the species is likely to be more vulnerable to population depletion than some other small skates because females do not reach maturity until they are almost fully grown. Feeds mainly on shrimp (M. A. Treloar, CSIRO Hobart, unpublished data).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is caught often as bycatch in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, (probably most commonly caught in the Commonwealth Trawl and Great Australian Bight Sector) and is mostly discarded (81% in observed catch from ISMP data), however nothing is known of post discard-survival rates. In 2001, 1,506 kg of Peacock Skate was caught as bycatch in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery. This is 5% of the total skate catch, but this represents a large number of individuals based on the small size of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place. Information is required on the biology of this species, as well as the impact of current levels of bycatch on the population.

Citation: Treloar, M.A. 2009. Pavoraja nitida. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 December 2014.
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