Last year, the Marine Megafauna Foundation won the SEEtheWILD contest worth $3,000. With 1,236 votes for MMF on Facebook, we were overwhelmed by the amazing support for our conservation efforts in Mozambique. But what were these funds exactly used for?
The grant went towards my PhD project, entitled ‘Habitat use and movement patterns of the reef manta ray, Manta alfredi”, aims to gather information on movements and habitat use of manta rays along this very productive coastline. However, the reef manta ray population here has been very hard hit. With an 88% decline in manta ray sightings over an eight-year study period, more information on these enigmatic fish is needed. By using intricate tagging technologies to find out where these mantas go, we hope to be able to better protect them.
Manta alfredi, the smaller of the two manta ray species grows to about 5 meters wide and appears to be resident to the southern Mozambican coastline.