Research Study to Save Manta Rays

Research Study to Save Manta Rays

How do manta rays socialise in the wild? Thanks to help from donors, Rob Perryman is finding out.

Photo: Overcrowding at a popular manta ray dive site

Rob, a PhD student at Macquarie and researcher for Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF), recently travelled to Indonesia. As part of his fieldwork, he collected data on 33 tracked manta rays. This tracking, and Rob’s fieldwork, would not have been possible without donor support.

One of the goals of Rob’s research is to help protect manta rays from human impacts. Manta rays are vulnerable to extinction and one of the many threats they face is unsustainable tourism including the increased popularity of diving. Rob endeavours to learn about the natural fine-scale movements and social behaviours of manta rays. He hopes his research will eventually lead to better marine reserves where these creatures can be unaffected by human intrusion. This topic hasn’t been covered before; though previous research on sociality in marine mammals was highly influential in generating great public support for their protection, and contributed to our current understanding of dolphins as highly cognitive creatures.

After assessing his collected data, Rob hopes to publish his research in several scientific journals and present at international conferences. After all, to assist in conversation efforts, his findings about manta ray social behaviour need to be socialised! Please continue to support Rob’s research into this important topic.

Content owner: Advancement Last updated: 11 Jun 2019 2:00pm

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