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Proyecto Manta

Tracking Mantas in Pacific Mexico

Understanding how marine vertebrates move throughout the oceans is critical to effectively protecting and managing these species. Mantas are no exception, and are perhaps one of the most poorly studied marine species on the planet. Using archival satellite tags, which provide satellite-transmitted location estimates from data collected during a tag deployment, researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography are finally beginning to understand the movements of these elusive and mysterious creatures. Below you can find some of the first results of tagging mantas at two field sites in Pacific Mexico: Bahia de Banderas, on the mainland, and the offshore Revillagigedo Islands. So far, the tagging data indicates that there is no connectivity between mantas tagged at the islands (in blues) and those tagged on the mainland (in greens), meaning that mantas do not travel between these sites. However, mantas from both locations made north-south movements during the same seasons, spent extensive amounts of time in deep-water pelagic zones, and made some monumental deep dives. These tagged mantas showed a high degree of site affinity, suggesting that mantas may form local subpopulations rather than being the prolific oceanic wanderers once assumed. Explore the data below to see how these mantas moved around over the 6-month deployments, and what their daily maximum depths were. Stay tuned for more tag data this winter!