Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Visits with Ram

"Hi Ram, I really love each of our visits. I may not be learning new science but with each visit I am learning more and more of what makes you such a fantastic person. Even without the use of words, you have this ability to communicate and make people feel so important and loved. Your honesty and upfrontness along with your compassion and enthusiasm is so inspiring. I wish everyone could be so lucky to have met you. Thank you for everything that you have done for me- I wish I could do more for you. " Christine.

"Christine A. Ward-Paige, Ransom A. Myers, Christy Pattengill-Semmens. In Prep. Yellow Stingray in the Florida Keys.This study analyzed temporal trends of the yellow stingray in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) as recorded by trained volunteer divers using the Roving Diver Technique. Data were obtained from the REEF Fish Survey Project. A generalized linear model on presence-absence data was used to estimate the change in yellow stingray by year. Habitat type, bottom time, depth, site, water temperature, and Julian date were included in the model to standardize the data. The decline in sighting frequency has occurred in all habitat types, depths, sites, and regions of the FKNMS. Within the FKNMS yellow stingray sightings declined from 32% SF (425 sightings in 1323 surveys) in 1994 to 8.5% SF (93 sightings in 1095 surveys) in 2005, averaging ~18% decline per year. The decline has gone virtually unnoticed. This study highlights the importance of protecting marine communities for the preservation of fishery resources and shows the importance of recording all marine species extractions. It also demonstrates the value and application of trained volunteer divers for monitoring temporal trends and species interactions of marine communities. This work was presented at the Summer 2006 American Elasmobranch Society meeting."

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