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Urolophus flavomosaicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES UROLOPHIDAE

Scientific Name: Urolophus flavomosaicus
Species Authority: Last & Gomon, 1987
Common Name(s):
English Patchwork Stingaree

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Last, P.R. & Marshall, L.J.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L. & Compagno, L.J.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
Australian tropical endemic, known from two disjunct locations, off Queensland and off Western Australia in depths of 60 to 300 m; most abundant on the outer continental shelf. Biology largely unknown. Captured in small quantities only, suggesting it does not occur in large aggregations. Its area of occurrence receives only small amounts of trawling, generally being too deep for inshore prawn and scallop trawling, while deeper water trawl fisheries off Queensland (Coral Sea Fishery) and off Western Australia (Western Trawl Fisheries) are small-scale. Gravid female urolophids often abort embryos upon handling and capture, and this is of concern where species are taken as bycatch. Any expansion of trawling activities in the area could impact detrimentally on the population and careful monitoring of populations is needed over a longer time scale, together with research into life history. However, despite being poorly known, there are little threats facing this species at this time and it is assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Known from two disjunct localities off tropical Australia, one off Western Australia (Abrolhos Islands to Port Hedland) and the other off Queensland (Caloundra to Townsville). Replacement species for U. bucculatus in tropical Australia.
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Queensland, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Captured in small quantities only, suggesting it does not occur in large aggregations and that its distribution is patchy.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Tropical, at 60 to 300 m depth (Last and Stevens 1994). Most common on the outer continental shelf, presumably mainly on soft substrates. No specific studies so biology largely unknown. Likely to have low fecundity (1 to 2 young/year) as with other urolophid species (for example see White et al. 2001).

Life history parameters
Age at maturity (years): Unknown.
Size at maturity (total length): Unknown (female); 38 cm TL (Last and Stevens 1994) (male).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length cm): 59 cm TL (Last and Stevens 1994).
Size at birth (cm): Unknown.
Average reproductive age (years): Unknown.
Gestation time (months): Unknown.
Reproductive periodicity: Unknown.
Average annual fecundity or litter size: Unknown.
Annual rate of population increase: Unknown.
Natural mortality: Unknown.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species' area of occurrence receives only small amounts of trawling, generally being too deep for inshore prawn and scallop trawling, while deeper water trawl fisheries off Queensland (Coral Sea Fishery; CSF) and off Western Australia (Western Trawl Fisheries; WTF) are small-scale. The WTF is managed by limited entry with only 18 fishing permits issued on a five yearly basis, operating over a large geographical area. Bycatch "is composed of small volumes of a diverse range of species" (AFMA 2003a) and it is likely that U. flavomosaicus forms only a negligible bycatch in this fishery. This fishery fishes from 200 m depth and so over half of the patchwork stingaree's depth range would not be affected. There are only two operators in the trawl sector of the Coral Sea Fishery, exerting a very low effort (AFMA 2003b). These would have little impact on U. flavomosaicus.

Of concern is the common practice of gravid female urolophids often aborting embryos upon handling and capture. Any expansion of trawling activities in the area could impact detrimentally on the population; however expansion in the WTF and CSF seems unlikely at this time.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Careful monitoring of population needed over longer time scale including monitoring of future fishing activities to ensure changes do not adversely affect this species.

The effective implementation of the Australian National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (Shark Advisory Group and Lack 2004) (under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA?Sharks) will help to facilitate the conservation and sustainable management of all chondrichthyan species in Australia.

Citation: Last, P.R. & Marshall, L.J. 2006. Urolophus flavomosaicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
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