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Urolophus kaianus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA CHONDRICHTHYES RAJIFORMES UROLOPHIDAE

Scientific Name: Urolophus kaianus
Species Authority: Günther, 1880
Common Name(s):
English Kai Stingaree

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient 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. & Cavanagh, R.D. (Shark Red List Authority)
Justification:
A deepwater stingaree from the Kai islands, eastern Indonesia, known only from the type specimens collected in the 1870s at 236 m depth. Both specimens are juveniles, the largest a 23 cm TL immature male. Maximum size of the species is thus unknown as is the species' biology, although it is likely to share characteristics with other urolophids, such as low fecundity (1 to 2 young/year). The area where these specimens were collected is not well surveyed, although fairly extensive market and landing site surveys throughout much of Indonesia in recent years have failed to locate further specimens. Although currently no trawl activity at depths of >200 m in the Indonesian Archipelago it is only a matter of time before fisheries move into these depths. As inshore resources are further depleted in a region where fishing pressure on the marine environment is intense, expanding and generally unregulated, and as gear advancements allow, fishers will relocate effort to the potential habitat of this species which could rapidly become threatened given its apparent restricted distribution. Given the lack of data this species cannot be assessed beyond Data Deficient at the present time. Patterns of exploitation in Indonesia must be closely monitored and the status of this and similar species must be reassessed as fisheries develop into deeper waters. Fisheries-independent surveys are also required in the area to facilitate comparisons with the Challenger surveys of the 1870s from which the only known specimens of Urolophus kaianus were collected.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Occurs off the Kai islands, eastern Indonesia. Range unspecified, but possibly restricted as only known from type locality in deepwater off eastern Indonesia.
Countries:
Native:
Indonesia
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Unknown but this appears to be an extremely rare species given that is it known only from the type specimens.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A deepwater stingaree species recorded at a depth of 236 m on a blue mud bottom. Largest of the two known specimens is a 23 cm TL immature male. Maximum size of the species is thus unknown. Biology unknown but 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 cm): Unknown (female); >23 cm TL (male).
Longevity (years): Unknown.
Maximum size (total length cm): Unknown.
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): At present there is little fishing pressure at the depth where the type specimens of the species were collected. There is currently no trawling at depths >200 m around Indonesia. However, it is only a matter of time until fishing activities move into these depths in a region where fishing pressure on the marine environment is generally intense and unregulated. As inshore resources are depleted and as gear advancements allow, fishers will relocate effort to the potential habitat of this species and this raises concern for a batoid species which may have both a restricted geographical distribution and a narrow bathymetrical occurrence.

When fishing pressure moves into its depth range, and if the population is confirmed to be limited, the species may rapidly fall into a threatened category. Indeed, the species may already be threatened, but there is no information to support this ascertain.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Patterns of exploitation in Indonesia will need to be closely monitored and the conservation status of this species will need to be reassessed regularly as fisheries develop in deeper water in eastern Indonesia. Fisheries-independent surveys are also urgently required to investigate the fauna of the area surrounding the type locality and to compare with observations made during the Challenger surveys of the 1870s from which the only known specimens of this species were collected.

Citation: Last, P.R. & Marshall, L.J. 2006. Urolophus kaianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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