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Bird’s Head Seascape Launches Manta ID Photo Contest
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, September 8, 2019 @ 10:00 PM (EST)

Launched in October 2015, the Bird’s Head Seascape Manta ID database—a Web-based research tool devoted to manta rays set up by the Bird’s Head Seascape (BHS), the Indonesian Manta Project and Conservation International—recently reached a milestone: its 1000th entry. Now, the BHS is celebrating the effort with a photo contest, with the grand prize going to the person who submits the most manta ID images.

The winner gets a special “citizen science” trip aboard the liveaboard Pindito, in January 2021, joining the BHS’s manta ray researcher Edy Setyawan to observe the mantas of northern Raja Ampat and learn about the animals’ behaviors.

If you’re planning a trip to Raja anytime over the coming season (October 2019 to April 2020), you have the opportunity to enter. All you have to do is take as many manta ID images as you can and submit them to the database. Don’t know how to get a good manta ID image? Head over to the Manta ID database to find out.

Read the press release below for more details.



The more mantas we know, the more we will know about mantas!
Help the BHS Mantas and win the trip of a lifetime aboard one of Indonesia’s premiere liveaboards.

In commemoration of the BHS Manta ID Database’s 1000th entry, the BHS has decided to run a contest. The grand prize will go to the person who submits the most distinct manta ID images. Additionally the grand prizewinner, along with the top 10 submitters, will have the honor of naming a manta. Note: if there is more than one individual who submits the same number of distinct manta sightings, the next criteria would be the one who submits the most new (to the database) individuals.

The grand prizewinner will join host Edy Setyawan, BHS’s Manta Ray Researcher, on an exclusive 11-night manta expedition aboard Indonesia’s legendary liveaboard, the Pindito, Jan 11–22, 2021.

While cruising through the BHS’s largest known manta populations in the Dampier Strait, this trip will explore manta populations throughout northern Raja Ampat. You will visit manta nurseries in the Wayag Islands and the West Dampier Strait, watch mantas being cleaned in the Kawe Islands and get acquainted with a different population of mantas in the remote, and seldom visited, Ayau Islands. You will have the opportunity to accompany and photograph Edy while he works. 

During the evenings, Edy will entertain and educate you on “all things manta,” including:

  1. An intro to the BHS manta populations. Learn how they live, eat, mate and give birth, where they travel, and how to tell the different species apart.
  2. Learn about monitoring mantas with both acoustic and satellite tagging systems.
  3. Edy is an expert drone photographer. He will share images and information about the use of drones, which he says have revolutionized monitoring techniques.
  4. He will also explain the workings of the BHS Manta ID database, one of his most valuable monitoring tools.

Imagine all this plus between manta encounters you will be experience the thrill of diving on some of Raja Ampat’s top dive sites.

How do you win? It’s simple:

  1. Plan a trip to Raja Ampat during the coming, October 2019–April 2020 season.
  2. Before you go, visit the BHS website’s Manta ID database to learn how to take a good manta ID image. 
  3. While in Raja take as many manta ID images as you can.
  4. Submit them to the BHS Manta ID database. 

That’s it!

At the end of May 2020, Edy will announce the lucky winner and the top 10 contributors.

Note: Contest is open only to Raja Ampat visitors; no liveaboard, resort, homestay employees or area residents may enter!

Are you a manta lover, not a photographer? Still want to join this incredible expedition? That’s simple too: Contact info@pindito.us for details.

The Bird’s Head would like to thank Pindito for their generous support without which this contest would not be possible.

Feel free to contact us with questions or details about the contest or the manta-centric liveaboard itinerary, info@birdsheadseascape.com.




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