And I cite.
This research brings up interesting questions about the role that humans possibly played in the extinction of the many megafauna animals that disappeared at the end of the last ice age.
We did not feed and pet the Mastodons, Giant Goannas, Caribbean Monk Seals and Moas to death - we wiped them out by killing and eating them, especially during the Holocene!
I did make a reference to the Southern Stingrays of Grand Cayman's Stingray City when I commented on our Bull Shark paper - and now and totally serendipitously, we finally got ourselves the paper.
It's quite obviously rather bad news.
But what also strikes me is that all of this is oh so preventable and that it could be fixed in a blink, likely via the mitigating measures mentioned in the paper!
Like I said here, it's often not about what one does but rather, about how one does it! Without wanting to go too much into details, remedies could consist in a) limiting the numbers of operators and/or tourists and/or hours, or days (or maybe even months?) of feeding, b) limiting and changing the composition of the introduced food, c) limiting the direct interactions and especially, the feeding by the tourists, and d) maybe even re-locating some of those Rays to avoid too much overcrowding.
And after this PR debacle, the Caymanian authorities might even be amenable to enacting some changes - ideally not cold turkey but gradually!
To be continued no doubt!