17 Jan 2023
Distribution, Conservation Status and Environmental Correlates of a Poorly Known and Most Threatened Stingray (Fontitrygon margarita) in Nigeria
Our previous RSG project was the first to provide comprehensive information on the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of daisy stingray (Fontitrygon margarita) across Nigerian Lagos Lagoon System (NLLS). Apart from daisy stingray, our previous RSG project documented two poorly known stingrays - pearl stingray (Fontitrygon margaritella) and Marbled stingray (Dasyatis marmorata)- in NLLS. Worrisome, these stingrays are threatened due to human activities e.g., intense fishing, habitat modifications etc, often leading to population decline and local extinction.
To date, the effects of these threats on the long-term persistence of stingrays in NLLS are unknown due to the limited key studies. Also, during our previous RSG, we observed a lack of conservation awareness, low legislation, and a rapid increase of ﬁsher’s number in NLLS. Though actively intense, the fishing of stingrays in NLLS is still ignored, and many actors are unaware of threats arising from their activities to the ﬁsh resource. Given the population declines and increased threats to stingrays in NLLS, it is critical to intensify conservation actions through research, outreach and stakeholder meetings to strengthen the conservation and management of stingrays in the area. On this premise, this project is designed to safeguard the last remaining populations of stingrays in NLLS and its associated habitats.
The objectives of this project are to (a) use social science survey to document socioeconomic factors affecting stingrays; (b) use ecological field survey to understand fish ecology; and (c) raise conservation awareness within fishing communities. This project will generate baseline information for drafting survival blueprints for our focal species in NLLS.