TITLE

Summer and fall movement of cownose ray, Rhinoptera bonasus, along the east coast of United States observed with pop-up satellite tags

AUTHOR(S)
Omori, Kristen; Fisher, Robert
PUB. DATE
November 2017
SOURCE
Environmental Biology of Fishes;Nov2017, Vol. 100 Issue 11, p1435
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Cownose ray, Rhinoptera bonasus, is a common elasmobranch species along the southeast United States coast that recently has received negative attention. These rays can consume considerable amounts of commercial shellfish raising concerns regarding their control and need for effective management. However, limited information is known regarding their population abundance and migration patterns. We addressed the latter by reviewing 25 tagged cownose rays in Chesapeake Bay with pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) to study their movement patterns during summer and fall and identify wintering grounds. Eleven tags provided useful data on temperature, depth, light level and/or end locations. The migration tracks were deciphered through geolocation based on light levels, sea surface temperatures and depth constraints. PSAT end locations indicated southern wintering grounds in the coastal waters of central Florida. Female rays migrated out of Chesapeake Bay at the end of September to early October and continued their southerly migration to Florida. Male rays exited the bay in July and migrated northward based on their estimated movement tracks. The male rays appeared to have a second summer feeding ground off the coast of southern New England. In the fall, males migrated south from New England to the same wintering grounds as the females. No diel differences in habitat use were detected; however, males tended to occupy a wider depth and temperature range compared to females. Information on the movement patterns and habitat use for cownose rays will assist in determining more effective recreational and commercial management plans.
ACCESSION #
126307742

 

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