Thursday, June 10, 2010

First definitive guide to Borneo's sharks and rays

Which island of South-East Asia has the most stingray species in the world? According to the new book 'Sharks and Rays of Borneo', the island of Borneo has 30 different stingrays: not surprising for the most biologically diverse region on the planet.

Dr Peter Last and Dr William White from the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship and the Australian National Fish Collection are the book’s lead authors.
"Borneo has a rich variety of aquatic habitats ranging from coastal estuaries and coral reefs to the deep ocean," Dr Last says.
"This diverse geography is reflected in Sharks and Rays of Borneo, the first comprehensive guide to Borneo’s sharks and rays and the culmination of a decade of collaborative research by Australian, United States, Indonesian and Malaysian scientists.
"Thousands of specimens were collected and examined for the book, from ports and fish markets across Sabah, Kalimantan and Sarawak, and from fishing vessels and research voyages.
"The information will help meet the critical need for accurate identification to aid the conservation and management of this most vulnerable group of fishes."
Sharks and Rays of Borneo describes the features, distribution, local names, habitat, biology and conservation status of 118 shark and ray species.
It includes nine new species, including the Borneo River Shark and the Narrowtail Stingray, and three others not formally recorded for more than a century.


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