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Urogymnus ukpam

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES DASYATIDAE

Scientific Name: Urogymnus ukpam
Species Authority: (Smith, 1863)
Common Name(s):
English Pincushion Ray, Thorny Freshwater Stingray
Synonym(s):
Dasyatis ukpam (Smith 1863)
Hemitrygon ukpam Smith, 1863

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2005-10-01
Assessor(s): Compagno, L.J.V.
Reviewer(s): Musick, J.A. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
This assessment is based on the information published in the 2005 shark status survey (Fowler et al. 2005).

The Pincushion Ray (Urogymnus ukpam) is uncommon to rare, with less than 10 specimens in museum collections, and most recently collected in any numbers from the lakes of Gabon or adjacent rivers. It is described as being abundant in the rivers of 'Old Calabar' in the nineteenth century, but its status there is uncertain at present.
History:
2000 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: A freshwater species, occurring in rivers and lakes of West Africa: Nigeria from Old Calabar River, Gabon from Lake Ezanga and the Ogooué River system and Democratic Republic of Congo from the Congo River at Binda (Smith 1863, Compagno and Roberts 1984a,b). Also possibly from marine coastal waters of Nigeria, according to the original description (Smith 1863), but this needs verification. All modern records are from fresh water.

Subpopulation details are unknown. There could be discrete populations in different rivers, or interchange between the river systems may take place by individuals transiting in coastal marine environments.
Countries:
Native:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Gabon; Nigeria
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: There is virtually no information available on life history parameters for this species. Age at maturity, longevity, average reproductive age and generation time are all unknown. One adult female has been recorded with two foetuses, but number of litters and average annual fecundity is also unknown.
Systems: Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): All known specimens were collected by local artisanal fisheries. There are heavy local marine and riverine fisheries in West Africa with a burgeoning human population. Over-exploitation for food is, therefore, a possibility; the ray was described as being abundant in the rivers of "Old Calabar" in the nineteenth century, but it has seldom been reported since Binda (Smith 1863; Compagno and Roberts 1984a,b; Capape and Desoutter 1990).
Human modification and degradation of the ray's habitat is also possibly occurring in the area as a result of population increase.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation or management initiatives are known.

Citation: Compagno, L.J.V. 2009. Urogymnus ukpam. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 August 2014.
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