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Himantura kittipongi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES DASYATIDAE

Scientific Name: Himantura kittipongi
Species Authority: Vidthayanon & Roberts, 2005
Taxonomic Notes: Similar to H. signifer.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-07-09
Assessor/s: Vidthayanon, C. & Manjaji, M.
Reviewer/s: Valenti, S.V., Fowler, S.L. & Pollard, D. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Himantura kittipongi is a small, freshwater stingray that was recently described from specimens collected from two locations in the Maekhlong River, western Thailand. It is also recorded from the Chao Phraya River in Thailand and possibly from the Pahang River, peninsula Malaysia. Other stingrays, such as the Mekong Freshwater Stingray (Dasyatis laosensis), that occur in the same river systems as this species have declined as a result of heavy fishing pressure and large-scale habitat degradation and destruction. It is highly likely that this recently described species has also been impacted by these threats. The extent of occurrence of H. kittipongi is estimated at less than 5,000 km² and presently it is known from only two or three locations. A continuing decline in the quality of its habitat and the number of mature individuals is inferred as a result of habitat destruction and pollution, and bycatch in freshwater fisheries, warranting a precautionary assessment of Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Originally described from five specimens collected in the Maekhlong River. Also known from the upper reaches of the Chao Phraya River in Thailand (penetrates 100 km up the Maekhlong River) (Vidthayanon and Roberts 2005), and possibly occurs in the Pahang River, Peninsula Malaysia.
Countries:
Native:
Thailand
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Uncommon (Vidthayanon pers. obs. 2007).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This small, freshwater stingray is found at depths of 5?20 m in mainstream rivers and penetrates into freshwater (Vidthayanon pers. obs. 2007). This species? apparently prefers sandy or sandy-muddy substrates (Vidthayanon and Roberts 2005). The largest specimen was a female measuring 28.5 cm disc width (DW) (Vidthayanon and Roberts 2005). Males mature between 20?26.8 cm DW (Vidthayanon and Roberts 2005).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to this species are capture in inland fisheries and habitat degradation throughout large areas of its known range. It is typically marketed for its flesh. The freshwater stingray Dasyatis laosensis, which also occurs in the Maekhlong and Chao Phraya Rivers, is suspected to have declined as a result of heavy fishing pressure from intensive fisheries for freshwater teleosts and large-scale habitat degradation from dam building and pollution (Compagno 2005). It is highly likely that this recently described species has also been impacted by these threats. Habitat degradation through removal of forest canopy leading to drought upstream and flooding downstream during monsoon conditions, dam building, leading to silt build-up and retention of agrochemicals behind impoundments and land development near rivers leading to destruction of freshwater habitats and run-off pollution are all threats to this species? freshwater habitat (Compagno and Cook 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place.
Citation: Vidthayanon, C. & Manjaji, M. 2009. Himantura kittipongi. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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