In the north Pacific of Costa Rica, especially in Gulf of Santa Elena, Punta Descartes and Bahía Salinas there are benthic rays, which feed on the ocean bottom like round rays (Urotrygon chilensis) or (Urobatis halleri), butterfly rays (Gynmura crebipunctata), the giant electric ray (Narcine entemedor), different species of guitar rays (Pseudobatos spp) as well as the longtail stingray (Hypanus longus) and species of pelagic rays, which feed in deeper open water, like the devilray (Mobula thurstoni), and the white-spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus laticeps).
The majority of these species are consistent with those species already registered in the central Pacific of Costa Rica. However, recent observations are leading the team to wonder if this area is characterized by the its ability to provide sufficient habitat for different life stages; including nursery grounds for neonates, as well as rich feeding habitat for juveniles and adults.
The oceanographic conditions and biological interactions of Punta Descartes region is different than the rest of the Pacific of Central America due to its cold water and seasonal nutrient flow. These variations may play a role in influencing the presence, behavior and migration patterns of various marine species in this area.
In this context Equipo Tora Carey built a multidisciplinary team of scientists and local research assistants, that include both children and adults, to identify the species of rays, determine patterns of distribution, movement, and local residence in the our area. Samples are collected free diving and scuba diving, as well as with the assistance of artisan and sportive fisheries.