* indicates required

Please double-confirm you wish to receive news from us. Remember you can unsubscribe at any time.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Andy Cornish/WWF
Andy Cornish/WWF
LAMAVE and WWF expedition members set off on their April 2017 exploration of the Sulu seas

Well spotted! Rare ornate Eagle ray sighting released

Added to Updates on 09 January 2018
Scientists from the Philippine-based marine conservation organization LAMAVE have recently released video footage of their 2017 encounter with the rarely seen and endangered Ornate Eagle Ray (Aetomylaeus vespertilio).

 The sighting of the large female occurred during an April 2017 WWF-Philippines expedition to Cagayancillo, a remote archipelago in the north-eastern Sulu Sea, and was filmed by researchers from LAMAVE (Large Marine Vertebrate Research Institute Philippines). The Ornate Eagle Ray is recognizable by its unique dorsal pattern of dark stripes and spots (see video), and the sighting has been documented in the scientific journal Check List.


 Accompanying the expedition was Dr. Andy Cornish, Leader of WWF’s Shark & Ray Initiative, who noted the sighting of the rarely seen ray in his 24 May 2017 blog. “In my 20 years of diving in Asia Pacific I had not seen an Ornate Eagle Ray until this moment,” said Dr. Cornish. “It was wonderful to see such a large individual swimming so gracefully along the reef crest. I have no doubt that the Cagayancillo region has great potential for many more memorable encounters with sharks and rays.”

A LAMAVE press release accompanying the footage called the encounter with the endangered species “the first ever live encounter with the species in Philippine waters.” The only two known previous records were found dead in fish markets.




Related News

Sulu Seas shark tourism expedition

Added to Blogs on 24 May 2017

By Andy Cornish

One of the more gratifying experiences for a conservationist is seeing the approaches you’ve developed coming into fruition in the real world, and having a positive effect.

Read more

The recovery is on at Tubbataha

Added to Stories from the Field on 19 September 2017

Tiger sharks appear to be making a comeback in the Philippines’ Tubbataha reefs area. Six individuals have been identified in recent years after many years of the species not being seen at this diving hotspot located in the northern apex of the Coral Triangle.

Read more

Ever wondered how to dive responsibly with sharks and rays?

Added to Blogs on 03 April 2017

By Ian Campbell

Even though I have logged too many dives to keep count, almost none of them have been for recreation. In my early diving days as a commercial diver, not a single dive was with the animals that had drawn me to study marine biology in the first place: sharks.

Read more

Helping preserve sharks and mantas in Komodo National Park

Added to Stories from the Field on 10 November 2017

Indonesia’s Komodo National Park is becoming famous for more than watching the legendary lizards. Divers are now getting up close with sharks and mantas as ecotourism grows in popularity.

Read more

Working to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and nature.

© 2020 WWF - World Wide Fund For Nature© 1986 Panda Symbol WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund) ® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark Creative Commons license.