After four years of fieldwork in the region of Puerto Lopez, “Mantas Ecuador” was officially formed when it became apparent that there was a strong need for the development of a long-term scientific program on this species in the country
As one of the most loved marine species and the largest living rays in our ocean, mantas have always been focal species for marine tourism. Unfortunately, as long-lived animals with low reproductive rates, their populations are usually the first to be reduced by human pressures. Having only been recently assigned as a vulnerable species, the giant manta is now the focus of intense scientific scrutiny. In 2011 Ecuador itself put forward a proposal recommending the giant manta ray to be listed on Appendix I and II of the Convention for Migratory Species Act, a clear warning that this threatened species is in dire need of conservation attention.