Movement patterns of the round stingray Urobatis halleri(Cooper) near a thermal outfall

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Abstract:

Fine‐scale movements and site fidelity of round stingrays Urobatis halleri at Seal Beach California, U.S.A., were examined using acoustic telemetry. Actively tracked fish generally exhibited limited nearshore movement, with greater distances travelled at night when the tide was ebbing than during the day with ebbing tides. Increases in round stingray activity were associated with increases in ambient temperature. Passively tracked fish showed seasonal patterns in their presence at Seal Beach. Males left Seal Beach during the autumn, returned the following spring, and remained in the area until the following autumn. Females spent far less time at Seal Beach, remaining in the area for a few weeks during June and July. Passively tracked round stingrays were recorded more often in the warm waters of the San Gabriel River mouth (the location of a thermal outfall from an electric‐generating station) than adjacent beaches, with fish often returning to Seal Beach after periods of absence. Anthropogenic effects resulting from coastal development may have created environmental conditions (i.e. warmer water and finer sediments) that influence the movements and site fidelity of round stingrays.

Keywords: behaviour; elasmobranch; telemetry; temperature

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2006.01054.x

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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