Megamouths - Biopixel Research

A community-funded project, Megamouths is an initiative of Run for the Reef to learn more about whale sharks and manta rays in the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea region.

The Mission

The waters off the north east coast of Australia remain a mystery to scientists, with little to no data about whale sharks and manta rays in this area.  While we know these charismatic plankton feeders have a circumtropical distribution through all tropical and warm temperate seas, we don’t know much about their habitat use, population demography, movement patterns and occurrence on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Coral Sea.

Why Is It Important?

Whale sharks are listed as endangered and manta rays as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.  The megamouth project aims to determine the significance of the GBR for the sustainability of these species and to identify implications for species management and conservation if whale sharks and manta rays move across international borders into territories where they are still exploited. As biological processes shift due to the changing environment, we could be losing important habitats for these species, or potentially losing these species from sections of the GBR, without knowing they were there. 

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Sex and Size Classes

Determining the sex and size classes of whale sharks and manta rays occurring on the Great Barrier Reef.

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Habitats

Identify important habitats and why they use them;

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Distance Travelled

Whether these animals move from other known aggregations, such as Asia.

Sightings

View our recorded sightings in the map below!

How you can help

Have you seen a whale shark or manta ray on the Great Barrier Reef, or in the Coral Sea? We'd love to know about it.



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Run for the Reef Instead. Or, join a CityRun in Cairns, Townsville or Mackay.

The Megamouth Project is funded by monies raised through the Run for the Reef Marathon.  Get your running shoes and head to Port Douglas in October to have some fun and run for the reef.

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