Learn More About Our Local Manta Rays
Frazer McGregor, our skipper, part-owner and Manta Ray researcher in WA, has been undertaking both informal and formal research on Manta Rays for over ten years now and is in the final stages of his PhD on the trophic ecology of manta rays at Ningaloo through Murdoch University.
Frazer McGregor’s Work on Manta Rays
Frazer’s work has focussed on several ecological aspects of Manta rays including:
- Their population status – how many there actually are and are their numbers stable?
- Their foraging ecology – how important the reef is as a provider of food.
- Their movements within the Ningaloo Marine Park (one of a handful of protected areas for manta rays)
- Their behaviours, which indicate how important different locations are to visiting manta rays and can be used to determine if growth in tourism is having any negative effect on them.
Over the coming years Ningaloo Marine Interactions will host manta researchers from across the Indo-Pacific in an attempt to gain the additional information needed to appropriately mange this magnificent animal.
Fascinating Manta Ray Facts
- Manta is a Spanish word meaning cloak, shawl or blanket
- Manta rays have unique markings allowing them to be identified from one another
- There are two species of Manta Ray, the Coastal Manta Ray (Manta Alfredi) and the Oceanic Manta Ray (Manta Birostris).
- Ningaloo is visited by both species, the most common coastal manta ray which is the focus of tourism at Ningaloo, can reach a wingspan of nearly 4.5m and is resident to the reef whilst the larger more elusive and highly seasonal oceanic manta ray has been reported to attain sizes in excess of 7m.
- The coastal Manta ray is seen along the entire length of Ningaloo Reef, but from Coral Bay can be seen year-round within a large semi enclosed embayment known as Bateman Bay.