Manta Survey at Komodo National Park
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The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only extant species in the genus Eretmochelys. The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Pacific subspecies. E. i. imbricata is the Atlantic subspecies, while E. i. bissa is found in the Indo-Pacific region. The hawksbill's appearance is similar to that of other marine turtles. It has a generally flattened body shape, a protective carapace, and flipper-like arms, adapted for swimming in the open ocean. E. imbricata is easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak with prominent tomium, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins. Hawksbill shells slightly change colors, depending on water temperature. While this turtle lives part of its life in the open ocean, it spends more time in shallow lagoons and coral reefs. Human fishing practices threaten E. imbricata populations with extinction. The World Conservation Union classifies the hawksbill as critically endangered. Hawksbill shells were the primary source of tortoiseshell material used for decorative purposes. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill sea turtles and products derived from them.
The eagle rays are a group of cartilaginous fishes in the family Myliobatidae, consisting mostly of large species living in the open ocean rather than on the sea bottom.
The reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) is a species of ray in the family Mobulidae, the largest rays in the world. Among generally recognized species, it is the second-largest species of ray, only surpassed by the giant oceanic manta ray
Other impacts may sometimes be seen on coral reefs. These include evidence of bomb or cyanide fishing, sedimentation, pollution or trash
Poor diver etiquette, including poor buoyancy control, improperly secured gear, excessive photography flashes, and careless fin kicks, can result in diver induced damage to coral reefs.
Bleaching occurs when corals expel their symbiotic zooxanthellae - pigmented, algae-like protozoa that live within the coral's cells. High temperature, pollution or other stresses can cause the coral to expel its zooxanthellae, leading to a lighter or complete loss of color.
Boat anchors can cause significant physical damage to corals, especially at reef sites that receive a lot of boat traffic and where insufficient moorings are available. Heavy anchors can smash even the most sturdy corals, while anchor chains and lines can scrape coral and remove living tissue, or wrap around corals and cause damage as the lines move in the water.