Like a number of other freshwater ray species, the white-edge freshwater whipray is under threat, primarily by habitat loss and degradation, as habitat is cleared to make way for new residential and industrial sites. Where this building occurs in river catchment areas, alteration to the water supply and flow can negatively affect the freshwater habitat of this species (5).
The clearance of forests can also have enormous impacts on the surrounding freshwater habitats and their inhabitants. Without the protective layer of the forest canopy, more rain reaches the ground and quickly runs into the rivers, resulting in floods downstream during monsoon periods. Conversely, without the forest to soak up rainfall and slowly release it into nearby streams, drought can occur in the upper reaches of streams during dry periods (6). Dams are constructed to try and prevent flooding downstream; however, these barriers have a negative impact on the white-edge freshwater whipray by splitting and isolating populations (1) (5).
Development can also cause pollution, which drastically impacts the nearby rivers. This includes industrial waste, sewage and agricultural chemical build up, as well as silt run-off from mining (1) (5). In addition, the white-edge freshwater whipray is known to be eaten in Thailand (3), and the intense fishery industry in much of this species’ range threatens populations through bycatch. It is also captured to satisfy demand for the aquarium market (7).