Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Southern Stingrays and Megafaunal Extinctions?

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. 
Hell, no!
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.
Read it!

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!


Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Ahhh the Holocene, remember those grilled Mastadon steaks under the stars at night with the sound of Sabre Cats across the valley?

Those were good times, good times.

You just don't get quality like that nowadays in this go-go world we live in.

Tropical Selkie said...

My turn to rant. This has always been a disaster. AND a while ago there was a picture from this site going around the internet (very popular) on facebook of someone (presumably an operator) pushing a ray up behind some women. Oh, everyone thought it was sooo funny -- called it a 'photo-bomb' by a ray...think even HuffPost picked it up. What everyone failed to see was that the photo was a prime example of the mismanagement of the site, the disrespect for the animals, and the over-crowding of the resource. Those who posted that picture should be ashamed...and should have known better. Seriously.

DaShark said...

Yeah I've seen that - and it's appears that it's not even an isolated event but part of the organized fun sold by those morons!

Well I sure hope that now that the reservations have been substantiated by research, somebody is on it!