Reef Manta Rays in the Eastern Lagoon at Palmyra Atoll
Reef Manta Rays in the Eastern Lagoon at Palmyra Atoll. This was a unique mating event seldom seen at Palmyra and very special for the researchers to record. Palmyra is home to many manta rays and they readily feed in the lagoon due to the primary production created from seabirds feeding offshore, roosting and nesting in the trees and defecating onto the land where rain washed this fertilizer into the water creating ideal growing conditions for diatoms and plankton. Palmyra’s intact ecosystem is one of the reason’s why this atoll so valuable as an international baseline for biodiversity, biomass and climate change research.
Courtesy Kydd Pollock, The Nature Conservancy