Manta Research Opportunity
Julie Hartup was on island last week performing her research as project leader of the Yap Manta Project.
Along with her routine data collection, community building and guest relations, she presents her data and involves all of us in her work.
These photos were taken the night after the Meet the Managers welcome cocktail toast with Bill, where Julie introduces her work with Yap’s manta data that is interesting by itself.
Yap’s manta ray population is small in terms of populations studies in Mozambique and the Maldives – however what is being learned is that studying these smaller populations, the lives of individual mantas can be studied offering a new spin of manta data.
Here in Yap we have mantas that have been ID’d for the past 30 years and newcomers to the database that are 30 days old. This provides researchers the ability to look closely at the lives of individual animals from just after birth into sexual maturity and even reproduction.
Yap manta research is as exciting as researching mantas gets.
Some facts about this population are somewhat new, scientifically speaking.
After years of compiling data on these rays, one can look at what’s going on with this family of animals.
One of the things that is noted here in Yap is that our mantas show strong reproductive behavior and some of our female mantas are pregnant back-to-back years.
Other large population research data shows that mantas reproduce every ~3-5 years, but our top females are pupping a new manta about every year which is great news for those of us who love to dive with these animals.
Julie’s science is community-based and she encourages involvement and participation with her work as well as marine conservation in general.
Our fastest growing event is Manta Mania where we host the top manta and shark scientists in the world who share their research and help divers become conservationists in action.
This is something that Julie shares every time she’s in Yap – if you want to learn about Yap’s mantas from the scientist who studies them the most, you’re more than welcome.
Stay in touch with us or sign up for our newsletter to be informed about upcoming opportunities to learn and dive with Julie and Yap’s mantas.
Citizen Science is the keyword here, all of us can help protect this population of mantas – the ID database is critical to studying these animals and any of us with a belly shot of a Yap manta with the date it was taken can help conserve one of Yap’s most precious resources.
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Join the Science
Yap is a very special place to dive and interact with manta rays. The more we learn about them, the more obvious it becomes that Yap’s resident rays are a unique experience, for scientists and divers.
The consistency and proximity of interactions with these animals makes for a very personal experience – and if you’re a scientist, you get to study the lives of these rays in detail.
Get involved with these animals and the people who protect them.
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