| | |Freshwater Stingray (Potamotrygonidae) Conservation through Captive Breeding Programs | | A Research Proposal | | |
There are only three large scale freshwater stingray breeding programs in the world. Of the three, only one is not dedicated to the pet trade. Dark Rivers Hatchery is the only AZA approved research site for fresh water stingray breeding in the United States. Studies are needed to help conserve wild populations of these apex predators. This proposed study would compare wild breeding rates and captive breeding rates of fresh water stingrays in order to consider, how we can ensure wild populations will not diminish due to over fishing in their natural environment. Environmental factors, such as food types, water quality and weather patterns, will affect spawning. Data will be compared from several sources, to note the stomach contents, types of prey available during spawning in the wild. If the types of prey found in the stomachs are given to the captive study subjects, as well as water tables kept the same, it will induce captive spawning. If captive stingrays are given larger amounts of food more often than their spawning cycle will be more frequent and they will have larger litters per birth cycle than the wild population stingrays.
Fresh water stingrays are found in several of the tributaries and connecting river systems of the Amazon River basin. Due to the remote locations were stingray populations are found, makes it especially hard to conduct conservation studies. Due to this population monitoring and breeding cycle studies of wild populations are limited. There are no published studies comparing both wild population breeding and captive breeding, this is due to a limited number of breeding populations kept in a captive state. Methodology
This paper will review and compare several written articles about wild stingray populations and successful captive breeding. Data such as stomach contents, water quality of wild populations and successful captive breeding populations will be compared and evaluated. Once all of the article’s are gathered and read each one will be referenced below and evaluated to their usefulness to the proposed research. Results/ Discussion
Charvet-Almeida and Barthem, RB. (2010) There paper is a extremely well that shows what fresh water stingray diets are, by dividing the sexual maturity and gender by type of prey items. Using very well thought out charts and tables it is very easy to collect data needed for the proposed research and is the most current data found by this papers author to date about the diet of fresh water stingrays. Charvet-Almeida and Barthem, RB. (2010) writes, “The stomach contents of 137 examples of Potamotrygon motoro caught in 3 locations (Muaná, Afuá and Lake Arari) on Marajó Island were analyzed. The values of the Index of Relative Importance (IRI) and its respective percentage (%IRI) were calculated. The level of repletion 1 (¼ full) was the most representative for both sexes, as well as for immature and mature specimens. Most of the food items found were well-digested. The food items identification indicated the presence of 15 orders, including insects, mollusks, crustaceans, annelids and fish. Differences in diet were observed among...
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