Sunday, 13 May 2012

First Satellite Tag Study for Manta Rays Reveals Habits and Hidden Journeys of Ocean Giants

ScienceDaily (May 11, 2012) — Using the latest satellite tracking technology, conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Exeter (UK), and the Government of Mexico have completed a ground-breaking study on a mysterious ocean giant: the manta ray.



The research team has produced the first published study on the use of satellite telemetry to track the open-ocean journeys of the world's largest ray, which can grow up to 25 feet in width. Researchers say the manta ray -- listed as "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) -- has become increasingly threatened by fishing and accidental capture and now needs more protection.
The study was published May 11 in the online journal PLoS ONE. The authors include: Rachel T. Graham of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Exeter; Matthew J. Witt of the University of Exeter; Dan W. Castellanos of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Francisco Remolina of the National Commission of Protected Areas, Cancun, Mexico; Sara Maxwell of the Marine Conservation Institute and the University of California-Santa Cruz; Brenden J. Godley of the University of Exeter; and Lucy A. Hawkes of Bangor University, Bangor, United Kingdom.

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