The geographic distribution of reef and oceanic manta rays (Mobula alfredi and Mobula birostris) in Australian coastal waters

Armstrong, Amelia J., Armstrong, Asia O., Bennett, Michael B., McGregor, Frazer, Abrantes, Kátya G., Barnett, Adam, Richardson, Anthony J., Townsend, Kathy A., and Dudgeon, Christine L. (2020) The geographic distribution of reef and oceanic manta rays (Mobula alfredi and Mobula birostris) in Australian coastal waters. Journal of Fish Biology, 96 (3). pp. 835-840.

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Abstract

The known distribution of manta rays in Australian waters is patchy, with records primarily centred around tourism hotspots. We collated 11,614 records of Mobula alfredi from photo-ID databases (n = 10,715), aerial surveys (n = 378) and online reports (n = 521). The study confirms an uninterrupted coastal distribution from north of 26 degrees S and 31 degrees S on the west and east coasts, respectively. More southerly M. alfredi records relate to warm-water events with a southernmost extent at 34 degrees S. Coastal sightings of Mobula birostris were rare (n = 32), likely reflecting a preference for offshore waters, but encompass a wider latitudinal extent than M. alfredi of 10-40 degrees S.

Item ID: 62255
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8649
Keywords: citizen science, connectivity, photo-ID, reef manta ray, species distribution range
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles
Funders: Austral Fisheries, Australian Research Council (ARC), Earthwatch Australia, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, Ningaloo Marine Interactions, TG Kailis Marine Conservation Fund, The University of Queensland (UQ)
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage Project LP150100669, UQ Research Scholarship
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2020 07:31
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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