SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aetobatus spp. and Aetomyleaus vespertilio
DISTRIBUTION: Worldwide in tropical to warm temperate latitudes.
IUCN STATUS: Threatened
THREATS: Severe population fragmentation, unregulated overfishing, bycatch, pollution, collection for the aquarium trade.
Pelagic eagle rays have sustained heavy exploitation over the past few decades, leading to population declines across most of their range. Our work, through partnership with Wild Me, is looking at machine learning and neural networks to identify spotted eagle rays from photos and videos contributed by the public. We are also working with partners to understand the bio-phylogeny of this species complex. The ornate eagle ray, one of the rarest of the eagle rays, is also Endangered and through key partnerships we are trying to understand their behaviour and ecology.