Three-dimensional mapping of red stingray (Dasyatis akajei) movement with reference to bottom topography
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Most demersal fishes maintain strong relations with bottom substrates and bottom depths and/or topography during their lives. It is important to know these relations to for understand their lives. In Tokyo Bay, red stingray, Dasyatis akajei, classified as near-threatened species by IUCN, has increased since the 1980s. It is a top predator and engages in ecosystem engineer by mixing the sand bed surface through burring behavior, and greatly influences a coastal ecosystem. It is reported that this species invades in plage and tidal flats and has sometimes injured beachgoers and people gathering clams in Tokyo bay. Thus, it is necessary to know its behavior and habitat use to avoid accidents and to better conserve the biodiversity of ecosystems. However, previous studies have not examined its relationship with the bottom environment. This study aims to describe its behavior in relation to the bottom environment. We sounded three dimensional bottom topography of their habitat off Kaneda Cove in Tokyo Bay with interferometric sidescan sonar system and traced the movement of red stingrays by attaching a data logger system to survey their migration. The results revealed that red stingray repeated vertical movement between the surface and bottom, and used not only sand beds but also rocky beds.
Key wordsred stingray movement three-dimensional bottom topography habitat use data logger interferometric sidescan sonar
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