SFU undergraduate researcher Sev counts yellow stingrays on a patch reef. In order to better understand the ecological role of the Yellow Stingray, Urobatis jamaicensis, team SFU has been performing some baseline stingray surveys each Saturday. What happens on Stingray Saturdays? There are sixteen survey sites (patch reefs) total. At these sites two SCUBA divers record the number of individual rays, sex, total length, substrate, refuge, and where they were found on the patch. In addition to this they also take their picture!

A photo of one of the yellow stingrays.

This data will reveal more about the habitat use and site fidelity of the rays. If time permits, the team may even test whether or not the rays can be reliably identified based on their spot patterns. If photo ID were a feasible option it would mean no tags necessary – a noninvasive and cost effective way of identifying individuals!