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Urotrygon simulatrix

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES UROTRYGONIDAE

Scientific Name: Urotrygon simulatrix
Species Authority: Miyake & McEachran, 1988
Common Name(s):
English Fake Round Ray
French Raie Ronde Truquée
Spanish Raya Redonda Buhonera

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): Robertson, R. & Valenti, S.V.
Reviewer(s): Simpfendorfer, C. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
The Fake Round Ray (Urotrygon simulatrix) is a rare, poorly known stingray only recorded from the Gulf of Panama. Little is known about the life history parameters of this species. It is taken as bycatch by bottom trawl fisheries targeting shrimp throughout its range. The species' relatively restricted distribution and rarity compared to others of the same genus likely make it more vulnerable to depletion. Although no specific data are available, the species is rare with a restricted range in shallow waters, which are extensively fished by shrimp trawlers. The species' extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km² and a continuing decline in abundance is inferred as a result of bycatch in trawl fisheries. Hence it is assessed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eastern central Pacific: known only from the Gulf of Panama, Panama (McEachran 1995, R. Robertson pers. obs.).
Countries:
Native:
Panama
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – eastern central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Apparently rare (R. Robertson pers. obs. 2007).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A benthic species found on soft bottoms (McEachran 1995). Depth range information is not available for this species, but it is likely restricted to shallow inshore waters. This species reaches a maximum size of at least 26.7 cm TL (McEachran 1995).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is taken as bycatch by bottom trawl fisheries operating across its range off Panama, although no specific catch data are available. Both industrial and artisanal trawl fisheries operate off the Pacific coast of Panama (FAO 2007). Inshore fishing pressure is intense throughout this species' range. There are about 232 vessels with licenses in the industrial fleet, targeting shrimp using beam trawls in surface waters down to 200 m depth (FAO 2007). Legislation introduced in 1988 does not permit the replacement of shrimp vessels, so many are >20 years old and between 18-20 m length with engines between 150-380HP and refrigerated holds (FAO 2007). There are about 4959 vessels registered in the artisanal fishery, including canoes, boats and motor boats. Of these, 2937 vessels are authorized to catch fishes, 2022 to catch shrimp (FAO 2007).

The threat status of this species is of concern given its apparent rarity and restricted range in shallow waters, which are extensively fished by shrimp trawlers (R. Robertson pers. obs. 2007). Although the species may be discarded due to its small size, post-discard survivorship is likely to be very low and the population is strongly suspected to have been depleted through fishing pressure (R. Robertson pers. obs. 2007).

Habitat degradation may also pose a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures in place for this species. Further research is required on this species' biology, range, population and capture in fisheries.

Citation: Robertson, R. & Valenti, S.V. 2009. Urotrygon simulatrix. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 November 2014.
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