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Urolophus kapalensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES UROLOPHIDAE

Scientific Name: Urolophus kapalensis
Species Authority: Yearsley & Last, 2006
Common Name(s):
English Kapala Stingaree
Synonym(s):
Urolophus sp. [Last & Stevens, 1994] subspecies A

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Annotations:
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Kyne, P.M. & Bennett, M.B. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003)
Reviewer(s): Fowler, S. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Urolophus sp. nov. A is a small stingaree endemic to the east coast of Australia, where it occupies a relatively narrow bathymetric distribution (18 to 85 m) in heavily trawled areas. Little is known of its biology except that fecundity is usually limited to two young. Females regularly abort embryos when captured. Reported declines in catches of sympatric urolophid species in New South Wales suggest an inability to withstand fishing pressure. Given its level of endemism, restricted bathymetric range, intense fishing pressure throughout its range, low fecundity and aborting behaviour, together with declines observed in sympatric species, the species is categorised as Near Threatened, nearly meeting criterion A2d for Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Undescribed species referred to as Urolophus sp. A by Last and Stevens (1994). Endemic to the Western South Pacific on the east coast of Australia. Last and Stevens (1994) report the species from off Yamba to Jervis Bay, New South Wales. However, recently captured off southeastern Queensland, extending the northern range of the species (Kyne, unpublished data).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (New South Wales, Queensland)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No information on populations.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inshore demersal in depths of 18 to 85 m. Maximum size at least 45 cm total length (TL) with males maturing at about 28 cm TL. Viviparous most commonly with one embryo in each uterus (Kyne, unpublished data). Little else known of its biology.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Urolophus sp. nov. A is a common component of the bycatch in the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery (ECTF) (eastern king prawn sector) where it is often caught in small aggregations. It is also taken in the New South Wales Ocean Prawn Trawl Fishery. Off the Clarence River and Newcastle, it is more regularly captured in waters between 9-56 m than deeper waters where catch rates where considerably lower (Graham and Wood 1997). The implementation of Turtle Exclusion Devices in the Queensland ECTF does not appear to be reducing catches (unpublished data).

Little is known of its biology. Embryos are often aborted from gravid females once landed.

Urolophids are often captured in large numbers as bycatch in Australian trawl fisheries (for example, see Graham and Liggins 1995). Graham et al. (2001) report an overall decline of 66% in the catch of urolophids on the continental slope off NSW between 1976-7 and 1996-7 has been reported, with a decline of 90.5% on one survey ground (Eden). Catch rates were not divided by species but comprised U. bucculentus (common), U. viridis (common), U. sufflavus and U. cruciatus (both less common). These data suggest that this group may be vulnerable to trawling activities.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None. The species may occur inside some marine protected in NSW waters, including the Solitary Island Marine Park and the Jervis Bay Marine Park.

Citation: Kyne, P.M. & Bennett, M.B. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) 2003. Urolophus kapalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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