Scientific expeditions in Cambodia could boost the ailing tourism industry

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Boeun shared that fishermen in his cooperative once encountered a fever or a group of more than 10 stingrays on Anlong Kainkonsat, each weighing between 30 and 40 kg, although he admitted he had never seen one that weighed anywhere near 300 kg weighed like Boramy.

He said there are two species of giant rays, distinguished by black and red hues, which the community refer to as “buffalo rays” and “cattle rays,” respectively.

Even so, scientists have yet to determine how many subspecies of the giant freshwater stingray actually exist, although most are familiar with the “buffalo” species, which prefers to live in deep tanks with clean environments, according to Som Vichet, director of Stung Treng FiA Canton.

“Due to the biology of freshwater stingrays, they do not appear at the water surface, allowing tourists to see them like dolphins.

“So the areas where they live won’t be big tourist destinations for the general public in that sense, but it will be a very attractive destination for scientific researchers focused on freshwater species,” he said.

Vichet said the giant freshwater stingray can be found not only in the Koh Preah area of ​​Siem Bok, but also in a Ramsar site in Siem Pang district. So far, however, researchers have not provided formal population estimates or summaries of upstream and downstream movement patterns.

All that could change, however, because two weeks ago scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong deployed 36 underwater acoustic receivers along the upper Mekong River in Cambodia to track the movement and behavior of Boramy, which was released back into the Mekong on Evening of June 14 after having an acoustic tag applied to the base of its tail.

Scientists have yet to collect data from the devices in order to analyze them and learn more about their mysterious underwater life.

The Phnom Penh Post

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