Limited data are available pertaining to life history and population connectivity of the data deficient southern stingray (Hypanus americanus, Hildebrand & Schroeder, 1928). In order to determine potential vulnerabilities of their populations, this study aimed to analyze their movement patterns and genetic variability. A population of southern stingrays encompassing nine sites around Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas has been monitored using mark‐recapture, spanning a 2.5 year period. Out of 200 individual stingrays, more than a third were encountered again. The home range of the females appears to be very restricted, which supports the notion of high site residency. As resident populations of stingrays could suffer from a lack of population connectivity and be predestined for genetic isolation and local extirpation, this study further investigated the genetic connectivity of four sample sites in the central and western Bahamas. A haplotype analysis from the mitochondrial D‐loop region showed no distinct population structure strictly correlated to sample site. These findings were complemented by five microsatellite loci that revealed high degrees in genotypic variability and little population differentiation. The results suggest gene flow mediated by both males and females.
- Bahamas, batoid, gene flow, mark-recapture, microsatellites, sex-biased dispersal
- gene flow
- SEX-BIASED DISPERSAL
- sex-biased dispersal