Project Manta

Ocean Health

Project Manta

Scuba dive in search of critical information about the gigantic, threatened manta ray.

Previously Funded Expedition

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Relatively little is known about most aspects of mantas' biology, ecology, or numbers.

By increasing our understanding of mantas, this project will help shape conservation efforts.

In Australia, manta rays occur in shallow water and are a common sight to swimmers, snorkelers, and divers. Yet we don't know much about them. Project Manta is rectifying this by engaging scientists, industry, and the public in a study that will increase our knowledge of the species, generate economic and social benefits, and provide a basis for long-term monitoring of the manta's environment.


Global warming has caused marked changes in oceanic conditions, which may have dramatic consequences for mantas and reefs.

Its global distribution and easily identified shape make the manta ray an excellent indicator species by which to monitor the effects of environmental change on our oceans and reefs. Global warming has caused marked changes in oceanic conditions, including water temperature, current patterns, and acidification—all of which may have dramatic consequences for mantas and the reefs on which they depend. Correlating data on manta distribution and movements with large-scale oceanographic changes will help scientists monitor global oceanic health.

About the research area

Lady Elliot Island, Queensland, Australia, Australia & South Pacific

Daily life in the field


This is a summary:

The Scientists


Education Officer and Lecturer, University of Queensland

ABOUT Kathy Townsend

Earthwatch scientist Dr. Kathy Townsend specializes in studying manta rays, coral reefs, sharks, and the human impact on the marine environment.


Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food


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