The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation carried out the biannual stingray census at the Stingray City Sandbar in Grand Cayman. Twice per year, the team visits the world-famous tourist destination on a three day expedition to count and health check each Southern stingray that inhabits the site. This time, a record number of 115 stingrays was counted!
In addition, the stingray population was investigated at three other popular tourist sites near the Sandbar, which brought the total number of processed stingrays to 127! Of which, 101 were female and 26 were male, representing the highest number of males witnessed during the census since the early days.
Dr. Dominique Keller, wildlife vet at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, also joined to ultrasound the females. She identified 51% of all sexually mature females to be pregnant in all different stages of development.
These results are promising for the health of the habitat, and for the economy. Each stingray is valued at approximately $500,000 per year and so continuing to protect them is not only important for the love of the friendly Southern stingrays but also for the Cayman Islands economy. Continuing to investigate the reproductive behavior of these stingrays will be of interest in future surveys as little is known about the subject.
GHOF thanks our dedicated volunteers and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment for supporting this important ongoing project.
For more information regarding this program Click Here