Manta rays have become a major attraction for snorkelers and divers visiting Palau, but little is known about these beautiful creatures because they spend most of their time in open ocean. The only times we get to see them is when they come close to the reefs to feed or get cleaned at coral cleaning stations.
Mantas are vulnerable to boat and tourism pressure, and wrong behavior by groups of divers and snorkelers may cause the mantas to move away from their traditional mating and birthing sites in Palau which they return to each season. Popular and crowded manta sites such as German Channel need to be managed more carefully by the stakeholders to ensure that both mantas and visitors can safely enjoy these encounters.
We started this web database to collect information on Palau's individual mantas, and share with you what we have learned from observing and photographing them in Palau for the last 25 years.
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As part of our awareness campaigns, we published a 2013 kid's activity book on dugongs and manta rays. During their visit to Palau in March 2013, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco gave the first copies to 7th and 8th grade students in Palau. All elementary schools on Palau received free copies of the booklets. Download a PDF copy for yourself.
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- Study manta movements around Palau and find new sites using boat/snorkel/dive and helicopter surveys
- Make recommendations to National and State govern-
ments on site management and demonstrate the ability to observe and study the mantas around the tourist sites without using invasive tagging methods
- Collect manta ID's, monitor resident manta behavior using time-lapse camera surveys and underwater photography
- Maintain and seasonally update the Manta ID Palau website and Palau database