Dhanifaru welcomes it’s 100th visitor!

23 Jul 2010

April proved to be a bumper month for Manta sightings in the Lhaviyani Atoll, with Dhanifaru notching up it’s 100th identified visitor!

101 separate Manta Rays have now been photographed and subsequently identified from just this one snorkel site.

As the action on Dhanifaru slows down due to the change in the Monsoon, the sightings of the past few months has thrown up some interesting new findings:

In total, we have identified 163 individual Mantas in the Atoll (43 female, 33 male, 85 juveniles and 2 unknown).  60% of these Mantas have been resighted at least once around the Lhaviyani Atoll, suggesting that they are in fact more frequent visitors.

Manta Rays Maldives

Cross Atoll Migrations Identified

25 of the Mantas identified here have been moving quite some distances while away from the Atoll. This latest set of results has shown that some of the Manta Rays have in fact been covering distances in excess of 200km.

22 of the Mantas have been seen in the Baa Atoll, to the south west of the Lhaviyani Atoll.

1 female Manta has been cross referenced in the Ari Atoll – approx 250km away.

2 Mantas have been seen right up in the north in the Haa Alifu Atoll – approx 170km from here.

Cross Atoll sightings help further understand the movements of these graceful creatures, and help to develop successful conservation strategies to ensure their long term survival.

As the Manta Ray Specialty Course continues through the summer months, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the snorkelers and divers that have participated in the course so far, and that have provided us with ‘belly shots’ of Mantas to help in the ongoing research project.

Prodivers would also like to thank the hard working snorkel team for their effort and commitment to making this project a success. In addition to thanking Sarah, Ludwig, Sofia and Karola, we would especially like to thank Anna for sorting through all the photo id shots that come in every month.