An integrated examination of the drivers of movements of large filter feeding organisms of high ecotourism value: a case study (2011–2014)
Large filter-feeding organisms such as manta rays, whale sharks and baleen whales are major tourist attractions that underpin many eco-tourism ventures worldwide. The predictability of these organisms is a key feature for the industry, but the drivers of small to large-scale movements and migrations are poorly understood. This project uses the inshore manta ray as a model to examine how biotic and abiotic factors relate to the movements of individual animals on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Outcomes will advance our understanding of how environmental conditions affect a species' distribution in time and space, permitting the development of models for predicting how species' distributions may be affected by climate change.