Megafauna Monitoring Initiative (MMI) – September 2019

This month we observed our lowest number of megafauna sightings with 269 individuals in contrast to 274 and 277 for July and August respectively. The relative consistency in total sighting numbers over the last 3 months does however inspire confidence in the reliability of our dive team to consistently and correctly observe and identify species from month to month.

So what is our data showing us?

With now 3 months of data we are in a position to preliminary highlight minor correlations such as Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) are consistently our most common species with 95, 132, and 128 sightings for July, August and September respectively, followed by White Tip Reef Sharks (Triaenodon obesus) with 76, 79 and 63 sightings for the same respective months. In contrast our lowest and most rare sightings include the Marbled Ray (Taeniurops meyeni) and Tahitian Stingray (Pateobatis fai) with just 1 of each individual observed in both July and September.

See the list below for updated sightings of all our megafauna species.

63 x White Tip Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus)

6 x Black Tip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)

25 x Grey Reef Shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos)

128 x Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

11 x Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate)

4 x Bluespoted Ribbontail Ray (Taeniura lymma)

3 x Coral Sea Maskray (Neotrygon kuhlii)

2 x Whitespotted Eagle Ray (Aetobatus ocellatus)

1 x Marbled Ray (Taeniurops meyeni)

1 x Tahitian Stingray (Pateobatis fai)

8 x Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson)

2 x Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulates)

1 x Great Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda)

14 x Brown Marbled Grouper ( Epinephelus   fuscoguttatus )

Join us again next month and see what we encountered throughout October! Vinaka

Alex Garland