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Deni Ramirez is the director of Tiburón Ballena México (Whale Shark Mexico). Her study site is the Gulf of California, Mexico. She provided us with this video, en Español, explaining how she uses the Argos satellite system. 

Translated by Claudia Gomez Ochoa:

"At the moment we have a program of satellite tags on large manta rays and whale sharks. These tags are being placed on animals in the Revillagigedo Archipelago (Socorro Island) where we have been studying the giant rays for many years. With photo identification we have been able to tell that the rays move between the islands. The intention of tagging them is to know how long the rays spend within the protected area of the islands, if they have migration routes between each island, and to see if we can use that knowledge for their conservation. We also want to know where the rays leave to once they leave Revillagigedo Archipelago. 

In the case of the Whale Sharks we have been studying them for many years in the Gulf of California, and we have the pleasure of having pregnant females in the Gulf of California and in Revillagigedo, these are the only places in Mexico and the Galapagos were pregnant females aggregate. With our previous study with tags on pregnant females we were able to notate that they leave the Gulf of California and go to Revillagigedo Archipelago. So we are trying to find out with the tags what happens after they leave the Archipelago. 

The way the tags work is that we program them to collect data for 6 months while they are on the animal. During this time they record temperature, depth and light level. After the 6 period, the tag is going to pop off the animal by itself. Once at the surface it transmits data to Argos satellite system and once that happens it will send all the information via email to us. Since there are no GPS underwater, with the information we receive we are able to estimate the movement analysis (based on other collected information such as light levels). This estimate of movement will be done by CLS and CLS America using their Track&Loc data analysis."

You can follow Tiburón Ballena México (Whale Shark Mexico) on Facebook here

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