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Supplemental Information

Additional Information

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Author Contributions

Calum JG Murie performed the experiments, analyzed the data, contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools, wrote the paper, prepared figures and/or tables, reviewed drafts of the paper.

Andrea D Marshall conceived and designed the experiments, performed the experiments, wrote the paper, reviewed drafts of the paper.

Animal Ethics

The following information was supplied relating to ethical approvals (i.e., approving body and any reference numbers):

The research methods were reviewed by Joshua Axford, the Marine Megafauna Foundations Chief Operations Officer and by Dr. Andrea Marshall the head of the manta ray research department.

Field Study Permissions

The following information was supplied relating to field study approvals (i.e., approving body and any reference numbers):

Permission was granted within an agreement between the National Administration of Conservation Areas (Department under the Environment Ministry of Mozambique) and the Marine Megafauna Foundation.

The following describes the permission granted: Marine Megafauna Association agrees to work together with the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park to accomplish the following main objectives.

Scientific Research on threatened marine megafauna species within the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park.

Conservation of threatened marine megafauna species within the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park.

Creation of education initiatives relating to the ocean and threatened species within the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park and within their larger range in Mozambique.

Dissemination of MMA related activities to the public, the scientific community and government on a local and global scale.

Article 3

(Expected outcomes and outputs)

The parties have identified the following expected outputs:

Scientific studies, publications and reports on the biology, ecology and threats of marine megafauna species within Mozambique, with a particular emphasis on the Inhambane Province and the BANP region.

Scientifically supported, recommendations for management action plans for the region with regards to the safeguarding of marine megafauna species and/or other economically important marine life.

Economic studies evaluating the worth of certain megafauna species to the economy of southern Mozambique, specifically the tourism sector.

Article 4

(Key activities supporting the research agreement)

The parties identify the following main activities, which will require joint efforts:

Field research. MMA seeks to conduct genetic research, feeding ecology research and telemetry research within the park on manta rays, whale sharks, and other threatened species of megafauna.

Regional evaluations. MMA intends to carefully detail critical habitats in and around the Park, distributions and abundance of animals along the coast and movement patterns and residency patterns in the Inhambane Province.

Spatial planning studies. MMA plans to use datasets to combine ecological data, including: habitat mapping, tourism/development information and threat evaluations, so that priority areas for conservation can be identified.

Education programs. MMA seeks to expand our swimming programs, football programs, sustainable fishing programs, and village talks programs to the Vilanculos and BANP region to help foster support for the management and conservation strategies of the park.

Media. MMA will use their international reputation and extensive media connections to draw attention to the region through visual campaigns both online and in newspapers, magazines, documentaries, and feature films.

Data Deposition

The following information was supplied regarding data availability:


The authors received no funding for this work.

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