Tourists alter stingray habits

| 11/04/2009

(The Good 5c Cigar): Based on the research of a University of Rhode Island professor, tourist activity in the waters off the Grand Cayman Islands is responsible for the disruption of behaviors and an increase in the size of the female population in stingrays. Biology professor Bradley Wetherbee has been studying the effects of sites where tourists feed wild stingrays in the Grand Cayman Islands since 2002. In 2002, 2003 and 2008, Wetherbee traveled to Stingray City, one of the world’s most popular dive sites, where he began his research. "We were interested in how feeding the stingrays was influencing their behavior," Wetherbee said. In thewild, stingrays are known to be nocturnal and maintain a diet consisting of organisms that dwell on the sea floor.

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