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Birds depredating stingrays and skates (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea): new observations and a review of records


Authors

JAMES A. FITZSIMONS1,2

1 The Nature Conservancy, Suite 2-01, 60 Leicester Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia (jfitzsimons@tnc.org)
2School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood VIC 3125, Australia


Received 17 February 2021, accepted 16 March 2021

Date Published: 2021/10/15
Date Online: 2021/09/01


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Citation

FITZSIMONS, J.A. 2021. Birds depredating stingrays and skates (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea): new observations and a review of records. Marine Ornithology 49: 223-227.


Key words: diet, Laridae, Larus pacificus, Pacific Gull, Southern Fiddler Ray, Trygonorrhina dumerilii


Abstract

Gulls (Larus spp.) have a diet that includes fish, but they are also often dietary generalists. A limited number of dietary studies have been undertaken on the Pacific Gull Larus pacificus, which are endemic to Australia. Here, an observation of depredation by a Pacific Gull on a Southern Fiddler Ray Trygonorrhina dumerilii is described. Prior to this observation, rays and skates had not been recorded in the diet of Pacific Gulls, and there are few records in the literature of depredation by gulls (Laridae), or other bird families, on species of cartilaginous fishes from the superorder Batoidea. However, there is substantial documentary evidence, available online, of gulls and other bird species preying on rays and skates, which is described herein.


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