Manta Conservation Thailand: Manta Identification

November 27, 2010

A new Facebook group has been created to assist with Manta identification in Thailand. Called “Manta Conservation Thailand – Identification”, the group has been set up so divers in Thailand, particularly dive professionals working in in the scuba diving industry, can add their Manta Ray photos and videos to the group.

The Manta Ray photos and Manta videos posted on the group, could be helpful in charting the movements of individual Manta Rays in Thai waters, and even further away. Similar groups have also been created as a knock on to this group, in different parts of the world like Indonesia, Ecuador, and the Galapagos. This is only the start, hopefully.

The Manta Conservation Thailand group is inspired by the groundbreaking work of Manta Ray researcher and conservationist, renowned Marine Biologist Dr Andrea Marshall, who runs the Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna, which is based in Tofo Beach, Mozambique. The BBC made a documentary called Andrea – Queen Of Mantas, which documents her amazing work with these magnificent creatures. If you haven’t seen this documentary you need to. It includes some amazing footage is a must watch for all Manta lovers, or anyone who enjoys nature documentaries.

The hope is that the photos and videos collected in this group, and other similar social network groups which are starting to grow in other areas, will be of future use to Andrea and the conservation and protection of Manta Rays. The photos, including dates and locations, could be used as a tool to start establishing migration habits of these creatures. Currently little is know about this. At some point in the future some of the photos will hopefully be matched to individual Manta Rays in other areas.

Above is a video clearly showing this Manta Rays markings.

Andrea plans to visit Thailand at some point in 2011, to give some lectures detailing her work with Manta Rays, and also extend her innovative Manta Ray tagging program to Thailand.

Useful links related to this story…

Manta Conservation Thailand – Identification (Facebook Group)

The Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna.

The Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna (Facebook Group)

Manta Conservation Indonesia – Identificatio (Facebook Group)

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