Urolophus gigas 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Urolophidae

Scientific Name: Urolophus gigas Scott, 1954
Common Name(s):
English Sinclair’s Stingaree, Spotted Stingaree
Taxonomic Notes: Taxonomic problems have been resolved with initial concerns over intraspecific variation in colour.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Last, P.R. & Marshall, L.J.
Reviewer(s): Kyne, P.M., Fowler, S.L. & Compagno, L.J.V. (Shark Red List Authority)
A southern Australian endemic stingaree, inhabiting seagrass areas and shallow rocky reefs on the continental shelf (to 50 m depth). This species appears to be naturally uncommon with a patchy distribution, exhibiting clustering across a relatively broad geographical area. Specific habitat requirements need to be elucidated to determine actual area of occupancy. The biology of this species is largely unknown. It is sometimes caught by otter trawling and gillnets in southeastern Australia, but catches are likely to be small and overall catch susceptibility in these fisheries is considered to be low. Across the major portion of the species' range, fishing pressure is low or absent (i.e., inshore areas of the Great Australian Bight). Furthermore, its occurrence around rocky reefs will provide refuge from trawling. Given that it is naturally uncommon, any increases in catches in the future would need to be closely monitored. At present, however, with a widespread southern Australian range, most of which receives little fishing pressure, the species is assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Relatively widespread across southern Australia: from Albany (Western Australia) to Lakes Entrance (eastern Victoria), including South Australia and the northern coast of Tasmania.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Patchy and not aggregating. Clustering across a relatively broad geographical area, possibly due to the existence of suitable habitat. Appears to be naturally uncommon.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Continental shelf in depths to 50 m (Last and Stevens 1994). Most regularly encountered in the vicinity of seagrass and on shallow rocky reefs. Biology 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); 55 cm TL (Last and Stevens 1994) (male).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length): 70 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.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Sometimes caught in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery which operates off southeastern Australia by otter trawl and gillnet, however its "catch susceptibility" to trawling, gillnet and indeed all gear types used in the fishery is considered to be low (catch susceptibility is defined as "availability" x "encounterability" x "selectivity" x "post-capture mortality"; Walker 2004). Overall, catches by trawl and gillnet are likely to be small. There is a lack of trawling in Bass Strait and occurrence around rocky reefs will also provide refuge from trawling.

There is very little demersal fishing activity in habitat through the Great Australian Bight and in the west of the species' range. There is little effort in the South Australian Prawn Trawl Fisheries outside of Spencer Gulf and Gulf Saint Vincent and the species was not recorded in a preliminary study of the bycatch in the Spencer Gulf Prawn Fishery (Carrick 1997).

Coastal degradation can impact on shallow inshore habitats, particularity seagrass beds.

Catches by recreational fishers are a possibility given the species' inshore nature.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Given the apparent patchiness of the species, close monitoring of catches is required. Research should aim to document specific habitat requirements and life history characteristics.

The extensive network of (small) Marine Protected Areas in southern Australia will provide conservation benefits to this and other elasmobranch 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 gigas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2006: e.T60094A12246413. . Downloaded on 25 April 2018.
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